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Active and passive scapulohumeral movement in healthy persons: A comparison

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Price, Emerita Professor Helen Rodgers, Dr Richard Curless, Professor Garth Johnson


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Objectives: Clinical studies investigating shoulder complaints have found that active exercises and passive manipulation are not equally effective treatments, perhaps because active and passive movements align the individual shoulder girdle components differently. This study sought to investigate whether a significant difference exists in scapulohumeral rhythm of the healthy shoulder when the humerus is elevated actively or passively. Study Design: Both shoulders of 10 healthy volunteers (9 men: mean age 50 yrs) were studied using an electromagnetic coordinate system to locate the position of the scapula relative to the humerus and trunk. Scapula position in three dimensions was recorded at 10°intervals during active and passive humeral elevation in the coronal plane between 10°and 50°. Each shoulder was measured three times. Results: Analysis of variance showed that in all three planes of scapula movement (lateral rotation, backward tip, and retraction) the components of variance attributable to the differences in active and passive movement were less than 5%. Conclusions: During humeral elevation between 10°and 50°no significant difference exists between active and passive shoulder complex motion in healthy individuals. These findings may help to explain why passive manipulation is an effective treatment for shoulder complaints.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Johnson GR; Rodgers H; Curless RH; Price CIM; Franklin P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Year: 2000

Volume: 81

Issue: 1

Pages: 28-31

ISSN (print): 0003-9993

ISSN (electronic): 1532-821X

Publisher: W.B. Saunders Co. Ltd.


DOI: 10.1016/S0003-9993(00)90217-X

PubMed id: 10638872


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