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Scapular Dysfunction

One of the most commonly injured joints in overhead sports is the shoulder.  Pitchers, volleyball players, quarterbacks, and others often deal with overuse injuries such as impingement, labral tears, rotator cuff injuries, tendinitis, as well as general instability.  However, it is not only overhead athletes that may experience shoulder pain.  Many individuals, regardless of activity level, have chronic shoulder pain.  A common underlying factor for chronic shoulder pain is something called scapular dyskinesis, which means the shoulder blade is not moving correctly as the shoulder moves.

            For overhead athletes and individuals dealing with chronic shoulder pain, some simple exercises and stretches could help alleviate symptoms and lower the risk of injury.  Stretching the pectoralis muscles, particularly the pectoralis minor which attaches to the shoulder blade, can help, as well.  Exercises focused on the rotator cuff, the middle traps, and the rhomboids, are a good starting point for those beginning a rehabilitation program.

Jenna Janadi is a certified Athletic Trainer at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, CA.