Posture in patients with shoulder overuse injuries and healthy individuals

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1995 May;21(5):287-95. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1995.21.5.287.


Assessment of posture is an integral component of patient evaluation with shoulder overuse injuries. However, the professional literature contains relatively few studies that have assessed the relationship between posture, function, and injury. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship and differences in postural variables within and between subjects with overuse injuries to the shoulder of healthy subjects. Thirty patient subjects and 30 healthy subjects matched for age and gender were recruited. Scapular protraction and rotation, forward head position, midthoracic curvature, and passive humeral elevation in the plane of the scapula were measured randomly in standing. All measurement techniques were standardized and validated. Intrarater and interrater reliability for all clinical measures were established before data collection. Forward head position was significantly greater (p < .001) in the patient group than the healthy group; humeral elevation was significantly greater (p < .001) in the healthy group than in the patient group and in the uninvolved shoulders (p < .01) than the involved shoulders within the patient group. Scapular protraction, rotation, midthoracic curvature, and scapular symmetry were not significantly different between groups. Scapula protraction and rotation were significantly related (p < .05) in the patient group. No other postural variables were related. Conclusions regarding the influence of posture to shoulder injury are inconclusive based on several confounding variables that may have affected the outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Rotation
  • Scapula / physiology
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology*