In handball players, shoulder joints and elbow joint injuries are less than lower limbs. However, in overuse injury, shoulder joints occur frequently.
Also, ‘handball goalie’s elbow’ can be cited as the trauma of the elbow joint generated in the handball. This is an injury that is commonly found in the goalkeeper, and injuries occur when the elbow is forcedly hyperextended.
The causes of these injuries are caused by functional changes due to frequent throwing motion, “Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD)”, “Decrease of external shoulder joint force”, “Scapular dyskinesis (Motion abnormality of shoulder blades)” and technical factors are considered to be related.
Stretching as a prevention method is effective in acquiring and improving the range of motion, training with bands and tubes, strength training such as pushups is also effective for strengthening muscles.
However, it is difficult to lead fundamental injury prevention merely by being transiently performed after injury. The training effect seems to be greatly influenced by how much team and athletes can be motivated and consciously trained.
Judo has been recognized as a high-risk sport for shoulder and elbow injuries. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence regarding their prevention strategies. Also, to the author’s knowledge, there is no intervention study aiming for the prevention of shoulder and elbow injury for judo athletes. Therefore, this overview paper provides current information regarding the epidemiology, common pathology, and injury situation/mechanisms of judo-related shoulder and elbow injuries. In addition, based on previous epidemiological data, the author suggests a possible prevention strategy for the injuries, and the future direction of judo injury prevention research.
In judo, glenohumeral (GH) joint injuries (including the GH anterior dislocation), acromioclavicular joint separation, and fracture of the clavicle are the most common acute types of shoulder injuries, whereas elbow posterior dislocation and ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury are the most common acute types of elbow injuries. Chronic-overuse elbow injuries are also common in judo athletes, especially occurring on the turite side (the side on which the sleeve is grabbed).
It has been reported that judo-related shoulder and elbow injuries frequently occur when falling on an outstretched arm (i.e. FOOSH mechanism) or a shoulder directly. Furthermore, arm lock techniques are the frequent cause of acute UCL injuries. Seoi-nage techniques may be associated with the occurrence of both acute and chronic types of shoulder injuries as well as chronic elbow injuries in judo athletes.
Recognizing the high-risk situation and improving the breakfall (i.e. ukemi) may play an important role in preventing judo-related shoulder and elbow injuries from occurring. Likewise, young judo athletes who overuse seoi-nage techniques need to be identified, due to the greater risk of elbow injury associated with these actions.