Investigating The Association Between Supraspinatus Tendon Abnormality, Shoulder Pain and Isokinetic Strength in Elite Swimmers: A Cross-Sectional Study

Chun Lung So (Corresponding Author), Stan Cheuk Ting Lau, Wan Yu Kwok, Hon Ting Tse, Siu Shing Man

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Shoulder pain is common among elite swimmers due to the tre-mendous stress over shoulders during swimming. Supraspinatus muscle is one of the major prime movers and stabilizers of shoul-der and is highly susceptible to overloading and tendinopathy. An understanding of the relationship between supraspinatus tendon and pain; and between supraspinatus tendon and strength would assist health care practitioners for developing training regime. The objectives of this study are to evaluate 1) the association between structural abnormality of supraspinatus tendon and shoulder pain and 2) the association between structural abnormality of suprasp-inatus tendon and shoulder strength. We hypothesized that struc-tural abnormality of supraspinatus tendons positively associated with shoulder pain and negatively associated with shoulder mus-cle strength among elite swimmers. 44 elite swimmers were re-cruited from the Hong Kong China Swimming Association. Supraspinatus tendon condition was evaluated using diagnostic ultrasound imaging and shoulder internal and external rotation strength was evaluated by the isokinetic dynamometer. Pearson’s R was used to study the correlation between shoulder pain and supraspinatus tendon condition and to evaluate the association between isokinetic strength of shoulders and supraspinatus ten-don condition. 82 shoulders had supraspinatus tendinopathy or tendon tear (93.18%). However, there was no statistically signifi-cant association between structural abnormality of supraspinatus tendon and shoulder pain. The results showed that there was no association between supraspinatus tendon abnormality and shoul-der pain and there was a significant correlation between left max-imal supraspinatus tendon thickness (LMSTT) and left external rotation/ concentric (LER/Con) and left external rotation/ eccentric (LER/Ecc) shoulder strength (p < 0.05) while internal rotation/ external rotation (IR/ER) ratio can also be a significant predicator on LMSTT >6mm (R2 = 0.462, F = 7.016, df = 1, p = 0.038). Structural change of supraspinatus tendon was not associated with shoulder pain, but could be a predictor on MSTT >6mm in elite swimmers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Elite swimmers
  • isokinetic strength
  • shoulder pain
  • supraspinatus tendon abnormality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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