Altered scapula position in elite young cricketers with shoulder problems

J Sci Med Sport. 2013 Jan;16(1):22-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2012.05.017. Epub 2012 Jun 28.


Objectives: Shoulder injuries associated with the throwing and fielding demands of the game are common in elite cricketers. This study aimed to identify the factors associated with shoulder injuries in an elite junior squad.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: Sixty players aged 15-19 years, from the Cricket Victoria elite junior male squads completed questionnaires and 46 completed clinical assessments conducted by a physiotherapist that included shoulder strength, range of movement and scapula position. Participants were classified into two groups; players currently reporting shoulder problems (SP) and those not reporting shoulder problems (NSP) on the basis of their response to the question 'Have you had any problems with your shoulder in the last 12 months that have affected you training for or playing cricket?'.

Results: Fifteen percent (9 of 60) of participants reported shoulder problems (SP). The level of shoulder disability in participants with SP, classified on standard self-report scales, was mild to moderate. The major difference between groups was that the SP group displayed a significant downward rotation of the scapula in almost all shoulder positions. There were no differences between the two groups for training factors, range of motion, or in clinical test results. However, contrary to expectations the SP group exhibited greater strength than the NSP group on some variables.

Conclusions: A consistently downwardly rotated scapula associated with young cricketers with SP may predispose these cricketers to ongoing injury through impingement and also through increased load on the rotator cuff muscles acting at the glenohumeral joint during throwing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Australia
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Muscle Strength
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Scapula / injuries
  • Scapula / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder Pain / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult