The range of shoulder rotation is associated with shoulder pain in young male and female swimmers. However, the association between shoulder pain and shoulder complex mobility of the scapulothoracic and acromioclavicular joints has not yet been examined. Moreover, shoulder pain occurs more frequently in females than in males, but only a few studies have examined the relationship between shoulder pain and sex as a risk factor. This study aims to determine the association between shoulder complex mobility and shoulder pain in young male and female swimmers. Design: Prospective cohort design. Methods: The participants were competitive swimmers (n = 76; 37 males and 39 females) with a mean age of 14 years in Japan. The shoulder rotation width, which was the index of shoulder complex mobility, shoulder internal and external rotation range, and middle finger distance of the back-scratch test were measured. An examiner regularly visited the swimming clubs to evaluate the development of shoulder pain and swimming distance. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the physical characteristics related to the overall development of shoulder pain in both female and male swimmers. The cutoff value was calculated using receiver operating characteristic curves. Results: Sixteen participants, composed of 8 males and 8 females, developed shoulder pain. The overall swimming distance of the male (odds ratio [OR]: 1.0007, P = .01) and female (OR: 1.0018, P = .02) swimmers and the shoulder rotation width of the male (OR: 1.0952, P = .04) and female (OR: 0.888, P = .03) swimmers were identified as risk factors for shoulder pain. The cutoff value for swimming distance was 6000 m. Shoulder rotation width was more than 88 cm in males and <54 cm in females. Conclusions: Hypomobility and hypermobility of the shoulder complex were identified as risk factors for shoulder pain in male and female swimmers, respectively.
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