top of page

Abstract Discussion -- Posterior Shoulder Tightness and Rotator Cuff Strength Assessments in Painful Shoulders of Amateur Tennis Players

Submitted by Nicole Pitts

Rev Bras Fisioter. 2013 Apr;17(2). pii: S1413-35552013000200185. doi: 10.1590/S1413-35552012005000079 Posterior Shoulder Tightness and Rotator Cuff Strength Assessments in Painful Shoulders of Amateur Tennis Players

Marcondes FB, Jesus JF, Bryk FF, Vasconcelos RA, Fukuda TY


Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Departamento de Ortopedia e Traumatologia, Campinas,SP, Brasil.



Previous studies have shown a relationship between shoulder posterior capsule tightness and shoulder pain in overhead athletes. However, this relationship has not been studied in tennis players.


Assessment of the shoulder range of motion (ROM), strength and posterior capsule tightness of skilled amateur tennis players who had complaints of dominant shoulder pain in comparison with tennis players without pain.


Forty-nine skilled amateur tennis players were distributed in 2 groups: Control Group (n=22) and Painful Group (n=27). The first group was composed of asymptomatic subjects, and the second was composed of subjects with shoulder pain on the dominant side. These groups were evaluated to determine the dominant and non-dominant shoulder ROM (internal and external rotation), isometric shoulder strength (internal and external rotation) and posterior shoulder tightness by blind evaluators.


The ANOVA results indicated significant differences between the groups in the dominant shoulder ROM, posterior capsule tightness, external rotation strength and strength ratio (p<0.05). The intragroup analysis (dominant versus non-dominant) in the Painful Group displayed a significant difference for ROM, posterior capsule tightness and external rotation strength (p<0.05).


The tennis players with pain in the dominant shoulder presented greater posterior capsule tightness, internal rotation deficit (ROM), external rotation gain (ROM) and deficits in external rotation strength than the tennis players without pain.


Introducing Abstract Contributor: Nicole Pitts

Lights are glaring down at me, and the crowd is cheering. I’m at a big tournament, and about to win the biggest match of my career. As my racket screams towards the ball, suddenly all the memories from the long, hard path that brought me to this moment come flooding back to me, playing all at

once in my head...

Tennis has brought me to over 30 countries, and in each of those countries I have been exposed to the people, the culture, and the medicine. As a player, I won the national hard court and clay court singles and doubles in the 12 and under division. I then went on to win the 14 and under Orange Bowl International Junior Championships. It was at this time I turned professional and started playing tournaments on the WTA tour. Competing at this level required years of training, incredible discipline, as well as tremendous amounts of focus and dedication. Many of the doctors that I encountered throughout my world tour possessed similar traits. These doctors helped me continue playing along the way after many injuries.

... SNAP! I make impact with the ball, and I feel a sharp pain in my wrist. My career as a professional tennis player was temporarily cut short due to a torn Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) in my right wrist. After all the hard work and dedication throughout the years, the injury left me very frustrated and uncertain about which direction my future was headed. I was interested in becoming a doctor from a very young age; however my decision became apparent while I was recovering from wrist surgery. It was at this point in my life that I decided ultimately that I would pursue a career in medicine once my tennis career was finished, which came all too fast. After recovering from wrist surgery, I went on to play on the WTA tour for a couple more years until a back injury at the age of 18 left me unable to play competitively anymore. At this point, I decided that I needed to start the next chapter in my life and enrolled in college and completed both my bachelors and masters degrees in the field of science.

Currently I am a student at Lincoln Memorial University-Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and will start my second year in August 2013. After completing my first year, I feel that this is the best path for me, which will help me achieve my career goals. The same dedication and discipline that was behind my success in tennis has helped me to succeed thus far in medical school and I feel will further be carried over into my career in medicine. I am looking forward to the next three years of medical school and residency, as I am confident that I will gain exposure to all aspects of medicine and develop into a well-rounded medical physician. I hope to become a sports medicine physician with an emphasis in tennis medicine. I feel that when I was injured during my tennis career, being treated by an array of physicians has given me some perspective of what players are going through. I hope that as a sports medicine physician, I can treat individuals and help them overcome injuries so they can continue with their athletic pursuits.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page