Authors: Diederichsen L, Krogsgaard M, Voigt M, Dyhre-Poulsen P.
References: J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2002 Jun;12(3):183-91.
Dynamic shoulder stability is dependent on muscular coordination and sensory inputs. In the shoulder, mechanoreceptors are found in the coracoacromial ligament, the rotator cuff tendons, the musculotendinous junctions of the rotator cuff and in the capsule. The number of receptors in the capsule is small compared to the number in the other shoulder structures. Proprioceptive information from numerous receptors in muscles and tendons is mediated via fast conducting nervefibers and probably contribute more to kinaestethic sensation than information from capsule and ligaments. Therefore it seems likely that the joint receptors have a more distinct role for the kinaestethic sense than muscle receptors. In cats a direct reflex from the afferents innervating the shoulder to the muscles around the shoulder has been presented. The reflex had an extremely short latency (2.7-3.1 ms). In man, a very long latency (300 ms) excitatory reflex has been found when nerves in the capsule were stimulated electrically during shoulder surgery. In addition, when the anterior-inferior capsule was excited in conscious humans with modest amplitude electrical stimuli during muscle activity, a strong inhibition was found with an average latency of 33 ms. Stimulation of the sensory nerves in the coracoacromial ligament has also been found to modify muscle activity strongly. Even though our understanding of the control of shoulder motion is incomplete, it is clear that sensory inputs can strongly modify muscle activity around the shoulder. This has implications for rehabilitation and shoulder surgery.