The relevance of scapular dysfunction in neck pain: a brief commentary

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Jun;44(6):435-9. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2014.5038. Epub 2014 May 10.


Synopsis Though our understanding of motor disorders and mechanical neck pain has advanced, the role of scapular dysfunction in mechanical neck pain remains enigmatic. The biomechanical interdependence between the neck and scapula and the potentially deleterious consequences of scapular dysfunction in the cervical region are biomechanically plausible. Yet the relevance of observed scapular dysfunction in patients with neck pain is still inadequately explained by research. However, studies investigating the association between scapular function and neck pain are beginning to emerge. The purpose of this paper was to review the current knowledge of this topic and consider the implications for clinical practice. Level of Evidence Therapy, level 5.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neck Pain / etiology*
  • Neck Pain / therapy
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Scapula / physiopathology*
  • Superficial Back Muscles / physiopathology*