FAQS on Scapular Dyskinesia
Scapular dyskinesia is condition found in almost 70% patients suffering from shoulder injuries. A prominent cause of shoulder dysfunctions, the conditions needs to be accurately assessed and treated. Ignoring scapular dyskinesia may prove costly disturbing the scapulohumeral rhythm, rotator cuff functioning, and rotation of the shoulder.
What is scapular dyskinesia?
The word scapular dyskinesia is composed of two separate words, scapular meaning related to shoulder blade and dyskinesia indicating abnormality in performing movements. Thus, scapular dyskinesia refers to abnormality in the movement of the shoulder blade.
When throwing, the scapular muscles are subject to repeated changes as the arm takes different postures. This runs the risk of causing shoulder injury and impact the scapular position. The scapula fails to elevate the acromion properly. As a result, patients suffer from “drooping of the affected shoulder” and shoulder pain close to the collarbone. This abnormality in scapula function is characterized as scapular dyskinesia.
How does it occur?
The shoulder blade or scapula is responsible for rotation, elevation, tilting, and abduction of the shoulder. It holds the shoulder socket that fits into the humeral ball to make the shoulder joint. During rest, the shoulder blade should maintain the appropriate distance from the spine sitting at the right height on the trunk. During the arm movement, it should elevate, tilt back, rotate, and slid away to let the arm perform any task.
However, in patients with shoulder injuries, the scapula fails to elevate, tilt, slid, or rotate properly causing the joint to bear disproportionate stress. This abnormal deviation is characterized as scapular dyskinesis.
What are the symptoms of scapular dyskinesia?
Scapular dyskinesis is one of the four conditions that together called SICK scapula syndrome. Others are scapular malposition, Coracoid pain, and inferior medial border prominence. The disorder has the following symptoms.
- Dropped shoulder appearance
- Scapular pain
- Middle scapular protrusion
- Noticeable problem in scapular motion
- Shoulder pain
- Scapular jumping during arm movement
- Pain in the upper arm
- A feeling of tightened chest muscles
- Worsening pain with weight lifting of chest training workouts
What causes scapular dyskinesia?
- Shoulder disorders
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Shoulder injury and direct trauma
- Overuse shoulder fatigue
- Shoulder impingement
- Osteo-ligamentous injury
- Proprioceptive dysfunction
- Injury to tissues around the shoulder socket
- Intense, recurring overhead activity
- Shoulder structural damage
- Muscle strain
- Unbalanced weight training
- Rotator cuff injury
How is scapular dyskinesia diagnosed?
A detailed analysis of patient’s medical history and physical symptoms help assess the scapular dyskinesis accurately. Patients are asked about pain sensation, starting of the disorder, shoulder strength, stability, injury, and frequency of pain. The second stage involves performing a range of active and passive motions before the doctor.
Additional imaging tests are preferred to find out associated problems and causative factors. X-rays help find out any problems within the scapula while MRI and ultrasound tests are effective to identify injury to soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, etc. CT scan may be favored to create a detail picture.
What are the treatment methods available for scapular dyskinesia?
- Medications: NSAID medications are prescribed to inhibit inflammation and pain in the shoulder.
- Surgical Intervention: Surgery is preferred when there is an aggravated shoulder disorder leading to scapular dyskinesia. Repair and restructuring of muscles, and tendons are carried out to allow normal function of the scapula.
- Physiotherapy: A range of physical therapy methods are resorted to encourage kinetic chain- based rehabilitation. It is useful in restoring normal muscular patterns and promoting pain-free shoulder movements.
- Pain Management: Patients may use ice, do activity modification, change postures and positions that reduce stress on the shoulder. Elimination of repetitive stress helps regain muscle strength.
- Scapula Stability Protocol: A flow of exercises and activities, this improves pain-free motions and helps achieve local muscle strength. Once the strength is restored, proprioreception exercises are resorted to enhance muscular integration and scapular coordination. When the scapular base stabilization is complete, stretching is done under expert supervision to activate rotator cuff muscles to their maximal strength.
- Anesthetic injection: Anesthetic medication inhibits pain by numbing the inflamed area.
- Corticosteroid injection: Steroid injected to the pain area successfully treats swelling and inflammation in the surrounding area and promotes smooth shoulder blade functions.
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