Scapular Dyskinesia, the forgotten culprit of shoulder pain and how to rehabilitate

SICOT J. 2019;5:29. doi: 10.1051/sicotj/2019029. Epub 2019 Aug 20.


The improper movement of the scapula during shoulder movement is termed scapular dyskinesis and is an often-forgotten cause of pain and dysfunction. The scapula is a key part of the upper limb kinematic chain and is a vital component of the glenohumeral rhythm; which is a major determinant of the efficiency and efficacy of the upper limb. We provide an overview of the complex regional anatomy of the shoulder girdle and how this allows the scapula to act as a both a dynamic and static stabilizer to the upper limb. We explore the normal biomechanics and the aetiology, epidemiology and pathological occurrences which can disrupt the normal function and lead to scapula dyskinesis. Scapula dyskinesis is a poorly understood condition and provides a challenge for the clinician in both diagnosis and management. We provide a summary of the clinical assessment which is most likely to identify the source of the pathology and guides the treatment which is largely rehabilitation of the musculature with focused and specialized physiotherapy.