Over half of badminton players suffer from shoulder pain: Is impingement to blame?

  • Arora M
  • Shetty S
  • Khedekar R
 et al. 
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Background/objectives: Badminton is one of the most widely played sports in the world and is considered a relatively safe sport. Despite this many badminton players report shoulder pain. The aim of this review is to summarize the available literature on current state of understanding for shoulder pain among badminton players. Method/materials: MEDLINE and EMBASE (Search terms: "badminton" AND "shoulder injuries" "badminton" AND "rotator cuff tears" "badminton" AND "impingement" and associated synonyms) were performed in March 2014. The authors further canvassed the reference list of selected articles and online search engines such as Google Scholar. Inclusion criteria were studies that assessed shoulder injuries among badminton players. A total of 4 studies were identified on primary search, and later expanded to 10 studies. Results/discussion: Shoulder pain affects or had affected over 50% of recreational and elite badminton players, with 20% reporting ongoing shoulder pain. There was no difference for shoulder pain prevalence between males and females. Most continue to play through the pain but report an impact on training, competition and activities of daily living. Shoulder kinematics were different for dominant and non-dominant shoulders, however the direction of difference is controversial. Conclusion: Over half of recreational and elite badminton players report previous or current shoulder pain, most likely the result of subacromial impingement, instability or scapulothoracic dyskinesia. There appears to be no difference for shoulder pain prevalence or shoulder kinematics between male and female players. Further work is needed to better define shoulder kinematics and study the underlying pathophysiology of shoulder pain among badminton players.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Badminton
  • Badminton players
  • Shoulder injury
  • Shoulder kinematics
  • Shoulder pain

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  • Manit Arora

  • Sunil H. Shetty

  • Ravindra G. Khedekar

  • Sachin Kale

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