Preseason shoulder range of motion screening and in-season risk of shoulder and elbow injuries in overhead athletes: systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Systematic Review)

OBJECTIVE: To characterise whether preseason screening of shoulder range of motion (ROM) is associated with the risk of shoulder and elbow injuries in overhead athletes. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: Six electronic databases up to 22 September 2018. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Inclusion criteria were (1) overhead athletes from Olympic or college sports, (2) preseason measures of shoulder ROM, (3) tracked in-season injuries at the shoulder and elbow, and (4) prospective cohort design. Exclusion criteria were (1) included contact injuries, (2) lower extremity, spine and hand injuries, and (3) full report not published in English. RESULTS: Fifteen studies were identified, and they included 3314 overhead athletes (baseball (74.6%), softball (3.1%), handball (16.1%), tennis (2.0%), volleyball (2.0%) and swimming (2.2%)). Female athletes are unrepresented (12% of the overall sample). Study quality ranged from 11 to 18 points on a modified Downs and Black checklist (maximum score 21, better quality). In one study, swimmers with low (<93°) or high (>100°) shoulder external rotation were at higher risk of injuries. Using data pooled from three studies of professional baseball pitchers, we showed in the meta-analysis that shoulder external rotation insufficiency (throwing arm <5° greater than the non-throwing arm) was associated with injury (odds ratio=1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.24 to 2.92, p<0.01). CONCLUSION: Preseason screening of shoulder external rotation ROM may identify professional baseball pitchers and swimmers at risk of injury. Shoulder ROM screening may not be effective to identify handball, softball, volleyball and tennis players at risk of injuries. The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution due to the limited number of studies and their high degree of heterogeneity. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42017072895.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pozzi, F; Plummer, HA; Shanley, E; Thigpen, CA; Bauer, C; Wilson, ML; Michener, LA

Published Date

  • September 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 17

Start / End Page

  • 1019 - 1027

PubMed ID

  • 31937577

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7456673

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1473-0480

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/bjsports-2019-100698


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England