High Prevalence of Nontraumatic Shoulder Pain in a Regional Sample of Female High School Volleyball Athletes
volleyball, cumulative trauma disorders, shoulder pain, adolescent female athlete, survey
Shoulder pain is becoming increasingly problematic in young players as volleyball gains popularity. Associations between repetitive motion and pain and overuse injury have been observed in other overhand sports (most notably baseball). Studies of adult athletes suggest that there is a shoulder pain and overuse problem present in volleyball players, but minimal research has been done to establish rates and causes in juvenile participants.
To establish rates of shoulder pain, regardless of whether it resulted in a loss of playing time, in female high school volleyball players. A secondary goal was to determine whether high repetition volumes correlated with an increased likelihood of experiencing pain.
Descriptive epidemiology study.
A self-report survey focusing on the prevalence of pain not associated with a traumatic event in female high school youth volleyball players was developed. Survey questions were formulated by certified athletic trainers, experienced volleyball coaches, and biomechanics experts. Surveys were received from 175 healthy, active high school volleyball players in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
Forty percent (70/175) of active high school volleyball players remembered experiencing shoulder pain not related to traumatic injury, but only 33% (23/70) reported taking time off to recover from the pain. Based on these self-reported data, activities associated with significantly increased risk of nontraumatic shoulder pain included number of years playing competitive volleyball (P = .01) and lifting weights out of season (P = .001). Players who reported multiple risk factors were more likely to experience nontraumatic shoulder pain.
When using time off for recovery as the primary injury criterion, we found that the incidence of shoulder pain is more than twice as high as the incidence of injury reported by previous studies. Findings also indicated that the incidence of shoulder pain may be correlated with volume of previous volleyball experience.
Source Publication Title
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Frisch, K. E., Clark, J., Hanson, C., Fagerness, C., Conway, A., & Hoogendoorn, L. (2017). High Prevalence of Nontraumatic Shoulder Pain in a Regional Sample of Female High School Volleyball Athletes. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 5 (6) https://doi.org/10.1177/2325967117712236