2017 Tom Donaldson Poster Prize 3rd Place – Mr Tom Gower
Does Spike Technique and Hand Velocity differ between Volleyball Players with Infraspinatus Syndrome and those without: An Observational Study
Athletes competing in sports with excessive, repetitive overhead movement have a high risk of overuse shoulder injuries, with overuse shoulder injuries accounting for approximately 19% of all volleyball injuries.
The spike movement has been reported to be responsible for over 80% of all shoulder injuries in volleyball and, given that elite players may perform roughly 40,000 spikes per year, small differences in technique could be associated with different injury risks.
One such injury, Infraspinatus Syndrome (IS), results from paralysis of the terminal branch of the suprascapular nerve at the spinoglenoid notch leading to isolated atrophy of the Infraspinatus muscle. Infraspinatus syndrome results in a loss of strength in external rotation and reduced proprioceptive sense of position of the hitting shoulder, but injury is normally incomplete in nature and no performance deficit is reported because of compensatory action of Teres minor.
There is a paucity of evidence comparing the technique of volleyball players with and without IS in order to establish whether it differs in the presence of IS. This is likely because IS does not result in loss of game or practice time