Shoulder strength values and ratio for swimmers without pain
Shoulder pain is common among swimmers and subsequently has attracted various types of studies on the topic.
More well-known proposed mechanisms for shoulder pain in swimmers include factors like: shoulder muscle weakness, strength imbalance between the external rotation (ER) and internal rotation (IR), training load and past history of shoulder injury.
Rather than observing subjects with pain, this study examined subjects without pain (in the past 2 months) to establish normative data.
In this study, 85 young swimmers were tested for shoulder flexion (FL), extension (EX), external rotation (ER) and internal rotation (IR) strength in the supine position measured against a handheld dynamometer.
Amongst a vast array of data, the summary of strength ratios is as follows:
Comparison Dominant vs. Non-dominant side
FL:EX ratio: Dominant: 0.93 Non-dominant: 0.93
IR:ER ratio: Dominant: 1.09 Non-dominant: 1.09
FL:EX ratio: Dominant: 0.86 Non-dominant: 0.87
IR:ER ratio: Dominant: 1.15 Non-dominant: 1.15
Comparison swimmers with vs. without a history of shoulder pain (Note: subjects with who had pain within 2-months prior to the study were not eligible)
FL:EX ratio: History of pain 0.97 No history of pain 0.95
IR:ER ratio: History of pain 1.15 No history of pain 1.14
The data established by this study could be used for assessment and treatment of swimmers. It must be noted that this study alone does not establish the relationship between shoulder strength and pain in swimmers.
> From: McLaine et al., J Sci Med Sport 21 (2018-03-12 08:11:43) 35-39. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd.. Click here for the online summary.