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Acromiohumeral distance and scapular position

…do they change after overhead muscle fatigue?

It is generally believed that overhead athletes develop pathologic shoulder conditions as a result of both long and short term adaptations leading to a narrowed subacromial space. To gain more insight in this matter, the acute changes in acromiohumeral distance and 3-D scapular position after an overhead fatigue protocol were determined. Surprisingly, AHD increased and posterior tilt and upward and external rotation of the scapula increased.

No differences in AHD and 3-D scapular position between the normal and fatigued state were observed with the arm in 0 degrees of abduction. At 45 and 60 degrees of abduction, the AHD increased and correspondingly, the scapula was more posteriorly tilted, upwardly and externally rotated – the opposite of what was expected.

What could be the underlying mechanism behind these changes that seemingly contradict the current consensus in clinical practice?

> From: Maenhout et al., J Athl Train 50 (2015-05-28 08:21:40) 281-288 . All rights reserved to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Inc. Click here for the online summary.

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