Great article on the role of scapula from 2013 Journal of Sports Medicine. Discusses assessing the scapula in detail which I think a lot of us breeze through unless there is something considerably wrong like winging or a deformity. I think we can always do better in our assessment. Also I think in PT we tend to over train and under treat the lower trap, while we over treat and under train the upper trap.

Previously, the scapular musculature was often neglected in designing a rehabilitation protocol for the
shoulder. In the past two decades a significant amount of research has been performed in order to help
identify the role of the scapula in upper extremity function. Weakness of the scapular stabilizers and resultant
altered biomechanics could result in: 1) abnormal stresses to the anterior capsular structures of the
shoulder, 2) increased possibility of rotator cuff compression, and 3) decreased shoulder complex neuromuscular
performance. This clinical commentary presents facts about the anatomy and biomechanics of
the scapula and surrounding musculature, and describes the pathomechanics of scapular dysfunction. The
focus is upon the assessment of dysfunction and retraining of the scapular musculature.

Open source article found here: THE ROLE OF THE SCAPULA

Written by: Russ Paine, PT, Michael L. Voight, PT, DHSc, OCS, SCS, ATC, FAPTA

Keywords: scapular musculature, scapular biomechanics, shoulder rehabilitation, scapular strengthening

Level of Evidence: 5


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