March 26- Overhead Athletes and Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit (GIRD)

GIRD is found throwing athletes that includes baseball pitcher and football quarterback, but also in tennis and volleyball.  GIRD may occur in other athletes due to their weight training demands. GIRD is the loss of normal range of internal rotation of throwers versus non-throwers.  Over time posterior capsule become tight which may lead to pain and eventually labral tears (SLAP lesion). The Sleeper Stretch is used to prevent or control GIRD.  

  • Lie on your shoulder in 90 degrees of flexion and the elbow in 90 degrees of flexion.  
  • Keep your back perpendicular to the table.
  • Place your chin on the shoulder lying on the table.
  • Move your shoulder into internal rotation by pressing the forearm closer to the table.
  • Take up the slack in the motion until you feel a stretch in the back of your shoulder.
  • Do not rush the intensity of the stretch and take the joint to the point of stretch and then just a few degrees more for stretching.
  • Hold 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 repetitions.
  • Perform 2-3 times daily.