Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cort Cieminski



In individuals with a history of anterior shoulderdislocation, research has shown that proprioception can become impaired. Conservativeintervention often includes the use of a shoulder brace for activities. There is currently noresearch that compares the efficacy of shoulder braces in limiting range of motion (ROM) and providing proprioceptive feedback of the shoulder. The purpose of this pilot studywas to investigate the effects of various shoulder braces on glenohumeral ROM andproprioception in individuals with a history of anterior shoulder dislocation. Subjectswithout a history of dislocation were also recruited to assess the feasibility of themethodology utilized in this study.


Eight subjects’ maximal ROM and proprioception were tested in threeconditions: 1) no brace; 2) Duke Wyre; and 3) Sully. Kinematic data for bothproprioception and ROM was collected using an electromagnetic 3-dimensional motioncapture system. Humeral motions tested were: 1) abduction; 2) maximal external rotationat 90° of abduction; and 3) combined motion. Proprioception was tested using activereplication of three standardized external rotation (ER) positions of the shoulder.Outcome measures included motion restriction compared to the no brace condition andthe relative error in active replication at each of the three ER positions.


ANOVA’s were run for each ROM and proprioception condition and ifsignificant, post-hoc, independent t-tests were performed. Significance for all tests wasset at 0.05. Statistically significant findings between all brace conditions were found withglenohumeral ER and abduction. Significant differences in combined ranges of motionwere found between the no-brace condition and braced conditions. Proprioceptive testingrevealed statistically significant findings between the no-brace condition and the Sully,and between the Sully and Duke Wyre at 10 degrees of ER. Ten degrees short ofmaximal ER revealed statistical significance between the Sully and other two conditions.


Both the Duke Wyre and the Sully shoulder braces limit glenohumeralROM. The Sully increased shoulder proprioception in positions vulnerable to dislocation.The study design and methods performed will enable future research to expand upon thedata gathered in order to benefit both the clinician and athletic populations.