Neuromuscular testing and rehabilitation of the shoulder complex

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1993 Aug;18(2):449-58. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1993.18.2.449.


The shoulder complex plays an integral role in performing an athletic skill involving the upper extremity. The intricacy of the neuromotor components controlling shoulder motion and athletic skill is an issue that the sports physical therapist deals with on a daily basis when rehabilitating athletic patients. The purpose of this article is to review neuromotor control of the shoulder complex and describe an exercise routine developed to enhance proprioception, kinesthesia, and neuromuscular control. Clinical research studies examining the strength of the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers, in addition to joint position sense, are reviewed. The results of these studies are discussed as they apply to the exercises described in the article designed to improve dynamic stability. The results of these studies and implementation of these exercises will help the sports physical therapy clinician assist the athletic patient and improve dynamic and neuromotor control of the shoulder.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinesthesis
  • Male
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome