Qualitative visual inspection and manual muscle testing are traditional methods of evaluation that may overlook subtle weakness of the axioscapular musculature. A modification of the standard technique of Moiré topographic analysis of spinal deformity was applied to assess axioscapular muscle function in 51 subjects: 22 asymptomatic individuals, 22 with shoulder instability, and seven with impingement syndrome. Static Moiré evaluation demonstrated scapulothoracic asymmetry or increased topography in 14% of asymptomatic subjects, compared with 32% and 57% in the instability and impingement groups, respectively. The dynamic Moiré test demonstrated an abnormal Moiré pattern in 18% of asymptomatic individuals, compared with 64% and 100% in the instability and impingement groups, respectively. Axioscapular muscle dysfunction is common with both instability and impingement syndrome of the shoulder, although it remains to be determined whether this represents a primary or secondary phenomenon.