Purpose: The aim of this systematic review was to update the knowledge on risk factors and prevention strategies for shoulder injuries in overhead sports with special emphasis on methodological quality.
Methods: All methodological procedures were performed in line with a previous systematic review by Asker et al. (2018). The literature search was conducted in the PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and SPORT-Discuss databases. Due to the risk of bias assessment, only studies with at least an acceptable methodological quality were included. A best-evidence synthesis was performed to clarify the evidence and direction of the risk factors and prevention strategies.
Results: A total of nine studies were included in the data extraction process. One study had a high and eight studies had an acceptable methodological quality. Seven cohort studies investigated risk factors and two randomised controlled trails evaluated prevention strategies. Moderate evidence was found for two non-modifiable (playing position, gender) and three modifiable factors (shoulder rotational strength, scapular dyskinesia, shoulder prevention programme) that were associated with the shoulder injury risk. All further risk factors had moderate and no association with risk (shoulder rotational ROM, joint position sense) or limited (history of shoulder/elbow pain, age, training experience, training volume, school grade, playing level), and conflicting evidence (setting).
Conclusions: There is moderate evidence for two non-modifiable (playing position, gender) and three modifiable factors (shoulder rotational strength, scapular dyskinesia, shoulder prevention programme) being associated with the shoulder injury risk in overhead sports.
Keywords: Baseball; Handball; Joint instability; Long biceps tendinosis; Overuse injuries; Rehabilitation; Return to sports; Rotator cuff lesion; Shoulder pain; Tennis.
© 2022. The Author(s).