Winged Scapula

Overview

This condition occurs when the muscle that moves the shoulder forward weakens and fails to hold the scapula, or shoulder blade, close against the back of the rib cage. This condition results in the scapula sticking outwards and upwards, particularly during physical activities such as pushing or lifting weights.

Causes

The main cause is weakness in the serratus anterior or subscapularis muscles of the shoulder. This weakness can occur from poor posture over time, irritation of the muscles from overuse, injury to the muscles from trauma or from damage or detorioration of nerves in the shoulder. 

Symptoms

The most common symptom is the physical "winging" of the scapula, where it sticks outward and upward during movement. Other symptoms can include pain, limited mobility of the shoulder, weakness in the arm or shoulder, and pressure or discomfort when sitting in a backed chair.

Treatment

The most common treatment for this condition is physical therapy and exercises designed to strengthen the serratus anterior muscle. Severe cases may require surgery.

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