“SICK” Scapula Syndrome
SICK scapula stands for scapular malposition, inferior medial border prominence, coracoid pain and abnormal movement of the scapula. It is a severe form of scapular dyskinesis associated with overuse syndrome and fatigue. The SICK scapula is commonly found in overhead athletes and can be noted by a unilateral drop in the affected shoulder.
How is it treated?
The first step is to perform a complete examination of the shoulder girdle and cervical region. Based on the findings, tight structures need to be stretched and weak structures need to be strengthened. Strengthen scapular protractors with resistance exercises that emphasize scapular protraction that activates the Serratus Anterior without over-activating the Upper Trapezius. One of the most important treatments is education about proper posture and typical movement of the scapula. Biofeedback techniques, such as mirror, verbal cueing, tactile cuing are helpful for the patient to visualize the trunk and scapula. The patient benefits by observing the trunk and scapula during exercises in order to learn how to voluntarily control scapular musculature.
Which scapular muscles should be targeted for rehabilitation
There are approximately 20 muscles attached to the scapula; however, those most involved in stabilization of the scapula against the thoracic wall are the rhomboids major and minor, middle and lower trapezius, serratus anterior and the rotator cuff musculature. Strengthening and stabilizing these muscles will help re-establish neuromuscular pathways and aid in the prevention of instability and secondary impingement, labral pathology and certain overuse pathologies by maintaining shoulder joint conformity.
The following are exercises that will help train your scapular stabilizers:
Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab we work with patients every day that are looking to heal as quickly as possible. Because we use an integrated approach to healing, we are dedicated to making that goal a reality. With our personalized treatment plans, our Hawaii physical therapists and medical team will get you accustomed to a workout and putting you through our four phases of care. The exercises above are perfect for a patient that is dealing with the SICK condition, not to mention our Chiropractors are right here in Kailua as well. If you or someone you know is suffering from pain, give us a call today at 488-5555 to make an appointment.