Scapula diagram

The Scapula and the Overhead Athlete

When individuals experience pain and/or discomfort in their everyday lives or sport/activity, they often look to the location of the pain and believe it to be the source. Although it seems logical, the cause of the symptoms in most non-traumatic cases are poor movement patterns that have been slowly contributing to increased stress in areas where there ought not to be.

Observation of movements such as throwing in baseball/softball, spiking in volleyball, hitting with the forehand in tennis, or landing a power snatch in CrossFit shows that these movements involve more than the shoulder joint alone. Since the shoulder joint is inherently a mobile joint, athletes in their respective sports need to create a stable base for the shoulder to move upon.

How do we create this stable base? This is achieved through improving the strength and coordination of the musculature attached to the scapula (commonly referred to as the shoulder blade) and improving core control. 

It may be difficult to know how and where to get started, however, we can get you back on track with the help of one of our skilled physical therapists. Contact one of our locations in Glendale, Kew Gardens or Manhasset to take the first step in your journey to moving better improving your athletic performance.


Christian Cardenas, DPT, CSCS

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