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Shoulder Injury Prevention

Expert advice from the 2022 Bern Consensus Statement.

Woman with a shoulder injury

If you’re looking for additional guidance in your corrective exercise strategies, experts have a new offering.  The 2022 Bern Consensus Statement on Shoulder Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Return to Sport for Athletes at All Participation Levels provides best practice guidelines for clinicians, athletes and coaches for managing a shoulder injury. The statement addresses preventive exercises, screenings for weakness and rehab guidelines.

Components of recommended prevention exercises include those that focus on range of motion and motor control, plyometrics, and both open- and closed-kinetic chain training. The recommendation is that exercises should be conducted in sport-specific positions and cover multiple joints. Exercise targets are rotator cuff imbalances, with a focus on external rotation strength through the range of motion; shoulder girdle strength through the range of motion; dynamic sport-specific trunk function; and control of eccentric arm deceleration.

Here are some examples of exercise for an overhead-throwing athlete:

  • external rotation through abduction
  • drop and catch in 90º of shoulder abduction
  • Y balance test exercises or adapted versions

To see videos of these exercises and more, go to jospt.org/doi/suppl/10.2519/jospt.2022.10952.

The statement is available in Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2022; 52 [1], 11–28).

See also: Shoulder the Load: Mechanics and Programming for Shoulders

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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