A comparison of swimmers with painful and non-painful shoulders was made.

The painful group's force production was mainly attributed to the internal rotator muscles (anterior deltoid, pectoralis major, and latissimus dorsi). The external rotator muscles (infraspinatus, teres minor, and supraspinatus) function to stabilize and maintain the integrity of the shoulder joint. Their activity was lower in the painful than the non-painful group. The muscular activity of the internal and external rotators was balanced in the non-painful group. The painful group's biomechanical efficiency was at least 13% less than the non-painful group at all speeds, that is, their technique was worse.

The study suggests that the strong internal rotators were pulling the shoulder slightly out of joint which resulted in excessive irritation and eventual pain in the rotator cuff.

Implications. There are several implications from this study which may lead to prevention of occurrences of swimmer's shoulder.

Return to Table of Contents for ICAR 1991-92 Report.