We help people age 40+ stay active, healthy, and enjoying the things they want to do their entire lives!

Get More Information
Call Us!
Get Directions
Get in Touch

Shoulder MRI on Volleyball Players – What Can We Learn?

Home » » Shoulder MRI on Volleyball Players – What Can We Learn?

Elite level volleyball players’ shoulders are amazing. As shown in the photo, they have an extraordinary amount of motion and are able to create a lot of force and power to hit the ball as hard as they do.

In order to do this, we would expect that the structure/anatomy of their shoulders to be flawless. Is this really the case though? Read on to learn what we find when an MRI is done on their shoulders……

In a study published in the journal of Joint disorders and Orthopedic Sports Medicine, 26 players from the U.S. National Volleyball Team had an MRI done on their dominant shoulder. All of the players were pain free in the shoulder. This is what the MRI revealed:

  • 88% of players had rotator cuff tendinosis
  • 65% had partial rotator cuff tears
  • 23% had labral tears
  • 23% had fraying of their labrum

Again, these were players without complaints of shoulder pain. It shoulder also be noted that these finding are consistent with other studies which found similar results in the shoulders of pain free pitchers and swimmers. 

So, what does that mean for you? Most of you are probably not elite-level volleyball players!

The big thing to learn from this is that, many times, the things that are blamed as the cause of a person’s shoulder pain, are found in people without pain-even high functioning athletes! Knowing this, surgery to fix the “problem” should not be the first step in helping someone with shoulder pain. Most painful shoulder conditions can be treated conservatively with the appropriate short-term activity modification, treatment, and exercise.

So, don’t be rushed into surgery and the long recovery that follows without pursuing all options to treat the shoulder conservatively. If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

Thanks for reading,



All information on this website is intended for instruction and informational purposes only. The authors are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied on this website.

Copyright ProMotion Physical Therapy 2024, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy
Website by Fire Pixel