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Open Access Short report

Clinical descriptive measures of shoulder range of motion for a healthy, young and physically active cohort

Giampietr L Vairo1*, Michele L Duffey2, Brett D Owens3 and Kenneth L Cameron3

Author affiliations

1 Department of Kinesiology, Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

2 Department of Kinesiology, Student Fitness Assessment Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, John A Feagin Jr Sports Medicine Fellowship, Keller Army Hospital, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, USA

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Citation and License

Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology 2012, 4:33  doi:10.1186/1758-2555-4-33

Published: 10 September 2012

Abstract

Background

The objective of this innovative research study was to describe clinical shoulder complex range of motion (ROM) measures for a young, healthy, and physically active population. This investigation represents a cross-sectional experiment conducted at a military academy-based sports medicine center. Military cadets with no history of shoulder complex injury were assessed within two months of enrollment in the academy; 548 men (18.8 ± 1.0 yr, 75.2 ± 12.2 kg, 178.3 ± 7.4 cm) and 74 women (18.7 ± 0.9 yr, 63.2 ± 8.9 kg, 165.2 ± 6.9 cm) participated. Descriptive measures included cross-body adduction (CAD), flexion (FLX), external rotation (ER0) with the shoulder complex in adduction and elbow flexed to 90°, internal and external rotation (IR, ER) with the shoulder complex at 90° of abduction and elbow flexed to 90° as well as arc (ARC) of IR-ER using standardized clinical quantification techniques. Bilateral and sex differences were evaluated using dependent and independent t-tests, respectively. Percentiles by arm dominance and sex were also calculated for all ROM measures.

Results

Data were normally distributed. Active and passive ROM measures indicated significant bilateral differences (P < 0.05) except for ARC. Sex differences (P < 0.05) were noted for active and passive CAD, FLX and ER0 for the dominant arm as well as active and passive CAD, FLX and ARC for the non-dominant arm.

Conclusions

These original data provide descriptive measures for shoulder complex ROM excursions, assisting sports medicine practitioners in potentially identifying clinical deficiencies and functional outcomes following shoulder injury.

Keywords:
Shoulder; Scapulohumeral; Range of motion; Measurement; Goniometry