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Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit in non-pitcher overhead athletic athletes: case series analysis of ten athletes

Background: The glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD) is diagnosed when there is a loss of 20◦ of internal
rotation compared to the contralateral shoulder. This condition has already been well described in a group of
throwing athletes, i.e. baseball pitchers. However, athletic athletes such as javelin throwers, discus throwers,
hammer throwers, shot putters may also be susceptible to this condition. Reports are lacking to recognize these
symptoms as GIRD for these group of athletes. We aim to evaluate these subgroups of athletes for the possibility
of GIRD.
Materials and methods: We examined ten athletes (javelin, hammer throwers, and shot putters) for signs of GIRD. Signs of loss of internal rotation were assessed by measuring shoulder range of motion (internal rotation and
external rotation) in supine position and posterior shoulder tightness test. Complaints of shoulder pain, evidence
of scapular malposition, inferior medial border prominence, coracoid pain and malposition, and dyskinesis of
scapular movement (SICK) scapula, posterior shoulder flexibility test were examined.
Results: The athletes had a mean training period of 3.8 years. One athlete had complaints of mild pain on their
dominant shoulder. Two athletes had GIRD (20◦ and 25◦) with no posterior shoulder tightness. Three athletes
had posterior shoulder tightness, but normal total shoulder ROM (195◦, 180◦, and 185◦). Three athletes had
increased external rotation (105◦, 100◦, 125◦). No subjects had scapular dyskinesia nor SICK scapula syndrome.
All athletes had normal total shoulder ROM.
Conclusion: Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit could be present in non-pitcher overhead athletics athletes.


Andri MT. Lubis a,b, Rizky P. Wisnubaroto a, Ermita I. Ilyas c, Nadia NPPS. Ifran a,b
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