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Title: Increased upper trapezius muscle stiffness in overhead athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy
Authors: Leong, HT
Hug, F
Fu, SN 
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Source: PLoS one, 2016, v. 11, no. 5, e0155187 How to cite?
Journal: PLoS one 
Abstract: Although excessive tension of the upper trapezius (UT) is thought to contribute to rotator cuff tendinopathy, no study examined UT tension in athletes with and without rotator cuff tendinopathy. Here we used UT shear modulus measured using ultrasound shear wave elastography as an index of muscle stiffness/tension. The aims of this study were twofold: 1) to determine whether the UT muscle shear modulus is altered in athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy compared to asymptomatic athletes, and 2) to detect optimal cut-off points of UT shear modulus in identifying athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy. Forty-three male volleyball players (17 asymptomatic and 26 with rotator cuff tendinopathy, mean age = 22.9 +/- 3.5 years) participated in the study. UT shear modulus was quantified during active arm holding at 30 degrees and 60 degrees of shoulder abduction and passive arm positioning at 0 degrees, 30 degrees and 60 degrees of shoulder abduction. During the active tasks, the UT shear modulus was higher in athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy than the asymptomatic athletes (p = 0.002), regardless the arm position. During the passive tasks, athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy exhibited a higher UT shear modulus than asymptomatic athletes only at 0 degrees of shoulder abduction (13.0 +/- 2.5 kPa vs 10.2 +/- 1.8 kPa, p = 0.001). When considering the active task, an optimal cut-off shear modulus of 12.0 kPa at 30 degrees of shoulder abduction (sensitivity = 0.84, specificity = 0.57, AUC = 0.757, p = 0.008) and 9.5 kPa at 60 degrees of shoulder abduction (sensitivity = 0.88, specificity = 0.67, AUC = 0.816, p = 0.002) was detected. When considering the passive task at 0 degrees of shoulder abduction, a cut-off of 12.2 kPa was found (sensitivity = 0.73, AUC = 0.817, p = 0.001). Findings from the present study show that monitoring passive and active UT muscle shear modulus may provide important information for the prevention/rehabilitation of rotator cuff tendinopathy.
EISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155187
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