The Shoulder Blade
Shoulder injuries are some of the most common injuries seen in the clinic. Your shoulder blade or Scapula (to use the anatomical term) plays an important role in allowing the shoulder to move. Leading shoulder experts are in agreement that abnormal scapula position and movement has some association with shoulder impingement, rotator cuff dysfunction and shoulder instability. As a result of this association, exercises that target scapular and shoulder stability are common in physiotherapy shoulder rehab protocols. In this newsletter, we are going to take a closer look at the Scapula and how it can help get your shoulder back performing at 100%.
The scapula provides a stable base to allow your arm to move in almost any direction. It is therefore logical to expect abnormalities to scapular position and movement to subsequently interfere with your shoulders movement patterns as you lift your arm, potentially predisposing the shoulder to a variety of pathologies that are commonly encountered in physiotherapy practice.
EMG studies have found that patients with shoulder injuries commonly have soft tissue imbalances following muscles; Serratus Anterior, Upper Trapezius, Lower Trapezius, Pectorial and Rhomboid Muscles.
To put it simply, physio rehabilitation of the scapula generally involves correcting the muscle imbalances through stretches and strengthening, here are some of the basic exercises I prescribe: