Shoulder Blade Stability – Why is It Important?
Our shoulder is on one of the most mobile joints in our body. It allows movement in all directions which in turn enables us to place our hands in all sorts of position for our daily activities. What you may not know is most of the muscles that control our shoulder have an attachment to the shoulder blade. It’s therefore important to look after your shoulder blade stability. How do we do that?
What is shoulder blade stability?
The shoulder blade coordinates it’s movements with your arm movement. This coordination is what physiotherapists call scapulohumeral rhythm. If you have poor coordination between your shoulder blade and arm movement, it can make your shoulder move less efficiently resulting in loss of strength and mobility. This lack of coordination can usually be traced back to poor shoulder stability.
How do I know if i have poor shoulder stability?
One of the easiest way to know if you have poor shoulder blade stability is by looking at your posture. The picture shows what your shoulder posture would look like if you have poor stability. The left shoulder shows a shoulder blade that is not sitting nicely on the rib cage. This is called winging scapula. It is one of the most common symptom of poor stability.
What can my shoulder blade stability affect?
In the short term, it would make overhead movements and lifting things overhead more difficult to do. In the long term, it can lead to injuries such as shoulder impingement, tendinopathy, or a rotator cuff muscle tear.
What can I do to improve my stability?
The best way is to do some strengthening exercises. Specifically you would want to do strengthening exercises for your rotator cuff muscles. Below is a quick video of some exercises you can try.
Winsen graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2011. He worked in organisations of various sizes such as Singapore General Hospital, Pain Relief Practice, and Physioclinic before working at Elevate Physiotherapy. He specialises in sports and musculoskeletal injuries and has worked with athletes in various sports such as fencing, dancing, dragon boating, and cycling.
In his spare time, he enjoys singing and playing chess.