The scapula is the foundation of the shoulder joint. What happens to the scapula affects the shoulder joint and vice versa. The scapula is a well vascularized bone that is attached to the rib cage by muscles. It can move in many directions, but it becomes problematic when it becomes protracted due to tight or weak musculature. Since all humans work with their arms in front of them, we all tend to get round shouldered. People who sit at computers are especially apt to have this problem. When this is the situation, the space between the roof of the shoulder (acromioclavicular joint) and the ball of the humerus (upper arm bone) is diminished and the rotator cuff tendon becomes impinged and inflamed. This often leads to a torn rotator cuff and a surgical repair.
The protracted scapula position means the upper trapezius is contracted and the lower trapezius is weak and inhibited. The pectoralis muscles will also be tight. In physical therapy we stretch the pectorals and upper trapezius and strengthen the middle and lower trapezius. The point is to bring the scapulae back and down and relieve pressure on the rotator cuff tendon. Basically, you can avoid shoulder problems, pain syndromes and even surgery by improving your posture. Stretching the chest and strengthening the back is the simplified solution.
Free 15 minute consultations by appointment. 992-4995
SF Sports Med & Rehab, Inc. at El Gancho