THE IMMEDIATE EFFECTS OF ACROMIOCLAVICULAR JOINT MOBILIZATION ON SHOULDER RANGE OF MOTION: A QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL STUDY
Keywords:Sports physiotherapy, shoulder injury, Prevention of shoulder injury, Shoulder rehabilitation
Introduction: The shoulder movement is dependent upon the integrated motion of many joints including Acromio-Clavicular Joint (ACJ). Chronic shoulder pathologies are likely to stiffen the ACJ and mobilization may reverse the effects. The current study aimed to study the effects of mobilization of ACJ on the shoulder ROM in healthy asymptomatic participants with restricted shoulder ROM.
Material & Methods: This single-subject quasi-experimental study recruited 30 healthy subjects with an equal proportion of males and females who had restrictions in the ROM. The mean age (SD) of the participant was 22.60 ( 1.16 years), height 5.52 ( 0.21) meter, weight 63.30 ( 12.78) kg and Body Mass Index 22.22 ( 3.84) kg/m2. Outcome measuring tools were shoulder range of motion (abduction, flexion, internal rotation, external rotation) and functional movements of reaching up behind the back and reaching down behind the neck. Acromioclavicular joint mobilization pre-intervention and post-intervention measurements of all variables were compared.
Results: The measurement of functional movements and all the ROM improved significantly from their baseline measurements following the ACJ mobilization. The mean change ( SD) in RBTB was 2.94 ( 2.05), RBTN was 3.20 ( 1.50), flexion was 6.53( 6.03), abduction was 8.83( ), internal rotation was 7.60( 5.71), external rotation was 3.5( 5.80). The change was marked in RBTN (19.5%) and RBTB (17.9%).
Conclusion: ACJ mobilization acutely improves the shoulder range of motion in healthy subjects. ACJ is therefore recommended for trials on prevention and rehabilitation of the shoulder.