Active Scapular Retraction And Acromiohumeral Distance At Various Degrees Of Shoulder Abduction
Michener, Lori A.
Powers, Christopher M.
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Context: Performing shoulder-abduction exercises with scapular retraction has been theorized to reduce the potential for shoulder impingement. However, objective data to support this premise are lacking. Objective: To evaluate the influence of active scapular retraction on acromiohumeral distance (AHD) at 4 shoulder-abduction angles using real-time ultrasound. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: University laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty asymptomatic individuals (10 men, 10 women; age = 22.9+/-2.8 years, height = 169.3+/-9.5 cm, mass = 65.5+/-12.9 kg) were recruited. Main Outcome Measure(s): Real-time ultrasound images of AHD were obtained during nonretracted and retracted scapular conditions at 08, 458, 608, and 908 of shoulder abduction. A 2-factor analysis of variance with repeated measures was used to evaluate the influence of shoulder retraction on AHD across shoulder-abduction angles. Results: A scapular-retraction condition 3 shoulder-abduction- angle interaction for AHD was found (F3,57 = 4.56, P =.006). The AHD was smaller at 08 (10.5 versus 11.2 mm, respectively; t19 = 2.22, P =.04) but larger at 908 (9.4 versus 8.7 mm, respectively; t19 = -2.30, P =.04) of shoulder abduction during the retracted than the nonretracted condition. No differences in AHD were observed between conditions at 458 (t19 = 1.45, P =.16) and 608 (t19 = 1.17, P =.86) of abduction. Conclusions: The observed differences in AHD at 08 and 908 of shoulder abduction were small and did not exceed the established minimal detectable change for either angle. Our findings suggest that active scapular retraction during shoulder abduction has a minimal influence on AHD at 08 and 908 in healthy individuals. Further investigations are needed to determine whether scapular retraction influences AHD in individuals with subacromial impingement.