The Shoulder and its “Blade”

The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints of the body, yet requires a significant amount of stability to allow it. When looking at shoulder movement, the scapula (often referred to as the shoulder blade) plays a crucial role in appropriate shoulder joint movement, as well as shoulder health. Whether we’re reaching for something in the back of your fridge, tucking in your shirt or lifting a box overhead, we’re going to need a stable base for all of this to occur symptom-free.

The shoulder joint is much more than the humerus (upper arm bone) and it’s attachment to the scapula. The clavicle (or the collar bone) and the ribcage are two other pivotal structures necessary for appropriate shoulder movement. The clavicle helps to anchor our shoulder complex to our trunk, while our ribcage provides a smooth surface for our scapula to move upon to allow the uniform movement of the humerus and scapula (known as scapulohumeral movement).

It can be difficult to see exactly how these structures work together, but one of our Physical Therapists at either our Glendale, Kew Gardens or Manhasset office can help guide you in the right direction to understanding how to improve your shoulder movement in all directions to improve your shoulder joint health. Book an assessment today and let’s get moving well!

Christian Cardenas, DPT, CSCS


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