Tennis Anyone?  Why the T-DOT is Essential for the Game!

I wanted to quickly review an article that was published in the April edition of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy (IJSPT) led by Stephanie Moore-Reed.  This study looked at how a tennis match can acutely impact shoulder rotational motion in women on the professional tour.  There’s a few other studies that have shown the loss of motion that occurs in baseball following a single game that I’ve mentioned in other blogs, but this is one of the first looking at female tennis players.
Methods: Passive shoulder internal rotation and total range of motion (internal rotation + external rotation) were measured before match play, immediately after match play, and 24 hours post match play.
Results: Nearly 50% of these athletes (79 subjects) presented with a clinically significant loss of internal rotation immediately following match play as well as 24 hours post match play. Nearly 40% presented with a clinically significant loss of total range of motion immediately following match play. 
I appreciated the sub-group analysis the authors provided in this paper, because it also showed that some athletes maintained motion, others gained motion, but the majority tended to lose it.  Other studies I’ve seen published on acute motion loss haven’t provided the extra analysis and it goes to show that shoulders can respond differently overhead activity.   It is important to identify those who are losing their motion acutely, because it may put them at increased risk of injury.
In conclusion the authors state…
“Given the changes in glenohumeral motion following acute exposure to tennis, evaluation of players for significant motion alterations following overhead activity and intervention strategies to minimize such alterations in these players are recommended for high level tennis players.”
This is another reason Movement Guides, Inc. has created and are continuing to develop the T-Dot Mobility System.  If soft tissue restrictions are primarily responsible for these acute changes, having a tool help re-establish homeostasis immediately following competition would seem to be advantageous.  You can learn more at  
Moore-Reed SD, Kibler WB, Myers N, Smith BJ. Acute Changes in Passive Glenohumeral Rotation Following Tennis Play Exposure in Elite Female Players. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016; 11: 230-236. 

Brett Burton PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, CSCS

Brett is a performance physical therapist at EXOS in Phoenix, AZ. He has a passion for human performance, helping people get out of pain, and improving movement efficiency. He completed his athletic training and physical therapy education at the University of Nebraska. He joined Movement Guides in 2015 while he was completing a physical therapy residency program in Idaho and shortly after joining the team, the T-Dot Mobility System was established.

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