Scapular Motion Dysfunction & Impingement

Scapular motion dysfunction or scapular dyskinesia refers to improper motion of the scapula, or shoulder blade, on raising and lowering the arm.  It is often implicated in shoulder impingment.  The shoulder blade must rotate and elevate as the arm moves overhead to prevent pinching of the rotator cuff tendons and subacromial bursa on the acromion.

Causes

Some causes of scapulothoracic dysfunction include muscular imbalance, tight muscles or a tight posterior capsule, and poor neuromuscular control, meaning your brain and muscles are not working in a concerted pattern.

Symptoms

Symptoms of scapulothoracic dysfunction include posterior shoulder pain.  Symptoms also overlap with shoulder impingment or bursitis.

Procedure

Procedural treatment depends on the source of scapulothoracic dysfunction.  For instance, dysfunction is due to muscle spasm, trigger point injections to the spasming muscle can help improve motion.  If a rotator cuff muscle is atrophied (or withered) due to a tendon tear, there is the theoretical possibility a regenerative type of injection (PRP or stem cell injection) could stimulate muscle growth.

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