, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 119–125 | Cite as

Supraspinatus and infraspinatus weakness in overhead athletes with scapular dyskinesis: strength assessment before and after restoration of scapular musculature balance

  • Giovanni Merolla
  • Elisa De Santis
  • Fabrizio Campi
  • Paolo Paladini
  • Giuseppe Porcellini
Original Article


A disturbance in scapulohumeral rhythm may cause negative biomechanic effects on rotator cuff (RC). Alteration in scapular motion and shoulder pain can influence RC strength. Purpose of this study was to assess supraspinatus and infraspinatus strength in 29 overhead athletes with scapular dyskinesis, before and after 3 and 6 months of rehabilitation aimed to restore scapular musculature balance. A passive posterior soft tissues stretching was prescribed to balance shoulder mobility. Scapular dyskinesis patterns were evaluated according to Kibler et al. Clinical assessment was performed with the empty can (EC) test and infraspinatus strength test (IST). Strength values were recorded by a dynamometer; scores for pain were assessed with VAS scale. Changes of shoulder IR were measured. The force values increased at 3 months (P < 0.01) and at 6 months (P < 0.01). Changes of glenohumeral IR and decrease in pain scores were found at both follow-up. Outcomes registered on pain and strength confirm the role of a proper scapular position for an optimal length–tension relationship of the RC muscles. These data should encourage those caring for athletes to consider restoring of scapular musculature balance as essential part of the athletic training.


Shoulder Supraspinatus Infraspinatus Scapular dyskinesis Strength 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Merolla
    • 1
  • Elisa De Santis
    • 2
  • Fabrizio Campi
    • 1
  • Paolo Paladini
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Porcellini
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery“D. Cervesi” HospitalCattolica (RN)Italy
  2. 2.ShoulderTech Clinical and Rehabilitative OfficeForlìItaly

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