Increased upper trapezius muscle stiffness in overhead athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy

Leong, Hio Teng, Hug, Francois and Fu, Siu Ngor (2016) Increased upper trapezius muscle stiffness in overhead athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy. PLoS One, 11 5: 1-13. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155187


Author Leong, Hio Teng
Hug, Francois
Fu, Siu Ngor
Title Increased upper trapezius muscle stiffness in overhead athletes with rotator cuff tendinopathy
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2016-05
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0155187
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 5
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2017
Language eng
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° and 60° of shoulder abduction and passive arm positioning at 0°, 30° and 60° 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° 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° of shoulder abduction (sensitivity = 0.84, specificity = 0.57, AUC = 0.757, p = 0.008) and 9.5 kPa at 60° of shoulder abduction (sensitivity = 0.88, specificity = 0.67, AUC = 0.816, p = 0.002) was detected. When considering the passive task at 0° 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.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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