What is your Scapulohumeral Rhythm?

john miller physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Scapulo-humeral pattern

Your scapula (shoulder blade) is the triangular bony base that all of your shoulder and arm movements operate from. You can think of your scapula as the base of crane and your arm being the boom. 

Your "scapulohumeral rhythm" is the pattern of muscle contractions and motion that occurs between your scapula and your humerus (upper arm bone). 

When your scapulohumeral rhythm becomes abnormal -due to pain, weakness or muscle inco-ordination - you are rendered more likely to suffer shoulder clicking, pain or rotator cuff injury. 

Why is Scapulo-Humeral Rhythm Important?

Poor scapula stability usually results in tipping and downward rotation of your scapula, which causes your shoulder tip (acromion) to pinch down into the subacromial structures (eg bursa and rotator cuff tendons) causing rotator cuff impingement, shoulder bursitis or rotator cuff tears.

Normal shoulder blade-shoulder movement - (scapulo-humeral rhythm) - is required for a pain-free and powerful shoulder function. Luckil, abnormal scapulohumeral rhythm can be retrained by an experienced shoulder physiotherapist. 

How to Normalise Your Scapulo-Humeral Rhythm

rotator cuff treatment

Your shoulder physiotherapist is an expert in the assessment and correction of your scapulohumeral rhythm. Any deficiencies will be an important component of your rehabilitation.

Researchers have identified poor scapulohumeral rhythm as a major cause of rotator cuff impingement. Plus, they have identified scapular stabilisation exercises one of the key ingredients for successful shoulder rehabilitation.

Please ask your shoulder physiotherapist for more information regarding scapulohumeral rhythm assessment and corrective treatment or exercises.

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Other Shoulder Treatment Options

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Scapular Stabilisation Exercises
  • Rotator Cuff Exercises
  • Shoulder Exercises
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Ergonomics
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Dry Needling
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Neurodynamics
  • Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
  • Prehabilitation
  • Scapulohumeral Rhythm Exercises
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  •  

    Shoulder FAQs

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • Massage Styles and their Benefits
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • Posture Trainer? Check out the BackTone 4000
  • Rotator Cuff: What is it?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are Growing Pains?
  • What are the Benefits of a Standing Desk?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What are the Signs of an Unsupportive Pillow?
  • What Can You Do To Help Arthritis?
  • What Causes Rotator Cuff Impingement & Bursitis?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What is the Correct Way to Sit?
  • What is the Shoulder Impingement Zone?
  • What is your Scapulohumeral Rhythm?
  • What to expect when you visit PhysioWorks?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When is the Best Time for a Pre-Event Massage?
  • When Should You Use a Shoulder Posture Brace?
  • Why do your Joints Click?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
  • Shoulder Conditions

  • AC Joint Injury
  • Bicep Tendinopathy
  • Broken Shoulder (Fractured Humerus)
  • Bursitis Shoulder
  • Cramps
  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Muscle Strain
  • Neck Arm Pain
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Rotator Cuff Calcific Tendinitis
  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Shoulder Tendinopathy
  • Stress Fracture
  • Swimmer's Shoulder
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Call PhysioWorks

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    Last updated 17-Mar-2019 01:51 PM

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