Author: Verena Baumgart
Supervisor: Oliver Schoenfeld M.Sc. Ost.
Background: Functional limitations of the shoulder area often lead to consultation by climbers of medical doctors or osteopaths. According to the literature, increased tension of the Fascia clavipectoralis can compromise shoulder flexion. For climbers optimal shoulder mobility is a prerequisite for maximized performance and prevention of injuries. In order to design efficient therapies, scientific analysis of the effectiveness of osteopathic methods is required.
Objective: The aim of this contribution was to clarify whether or not a recoil for the Fascia clavipectoralis leads to changes in shoulder mobility of climbers.
Methods: 56 subjects, devided into a control group and a treatment group, were subjected to either therapy, or a mock therapy, respectively. We tested our hypothesis with the help of two target parameters: measured flexion (via an inclinometer) as the primary target parameter, and subjective flexibility reported by each individual via questionnaire WKV20 as the secondary target parameter. These parameters were evaluated at three time points.
Results: Shoulder flexion measurements revealed a significantly (p < 0,001) improved shoulder mobility compared to the pre-intervention-status, that remained significant (p < 0,001) even 60 minutes after intervention. The secondary target parameter revealed that these mobility improvements were not noticed by the subjects.
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the Recoil technique, applied to the Fascia clavipectoralis, can significantly improve shoulder flexion of climbers. The effectiveness and mechanism of action of this technique should be tested in follow-up studies. Additionally, it should be evaluated if this method can be successfully applied to athletes from other disciplines, such as tennis players, or target groups outside of sports disciplines. This study shows, that the Recoil technique is a positive contribution to osteopathic techniques for the therapy of mobility limitations in the shoulder region of competitive climbers.