Scapula (Shoulder blade) winging

  • buckeye7

    Posts: 9

    Jan 26, 2012 1:18 AM GMT
    Hey guys,

    I tried searching for an existing thread but didn't find one. To sum it up, my right shoulder blade is winging out anytime I raise my arm or do a pressing motion. I haven't been able to lift for months now and I wanted to see if anyone has any helpful tips/exercises/experience with this sort of injury?

    I did physical therapy and that seemed to help a little but did not solve the problem. I am currently seeing a chiropractor and he has helped sort out my alignment in my back but the winging is still occurring.

    I am about to try something called MAT (Muscle Activation Therapy) with the goal of getting the muscle to start activating again.

    Let me know if anyone is familiar with anything on here. Any help is appreciated!
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    Jan 26, 2012 4:22 AM GMT
    Need to strengthen your Serratus Anterior.

    Exercises like push-ups + or serratus punches should help
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    Jan 26, 2012 6:23 AM GMT
    Ditto on what 'kyleray' said.

    As well you may have weak upper posterior (back) muscles. Namely:
    1) Rhomboids - Muscles between your shoulder blades

    Try seated cable rows to strengthen

    2) Serratus Anterior - Muscles that are a bit below your armpit and run along the side of your rib cage.

    Try incline shoulder raises - they resemble incline chest press exercise but difference is that weights aren't lowered down to chest. Here's a link:
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    Jan 26, 2012 6:40 AM GMT
    Any exercise that works the Rhomboids, Lower Traps, Subscapularis, or Serratus.

    Also, try this.

    Stand one foot from a wall facing it. Place your fingertips (like a spider) on the wall as high as your shoulders. Lift the elbows so they're as high as the fingertips and the shoulders. Take a breathe in, so that your shoulders lift initially, then root the Humerus into the shoulder girdle. Then move each scapula together and down your bak (get the bottom tips to meet). Then, keeping the elbows lifted, push the shoulder forward into the chest until the chest moves toward the wall. As you do this, keep the Humerus in the shoulder girdle, the elbows lifted in line with the shoulder and wrist, and the belly drawn in.

    It may sound weird but its the most simple of many therapeutic techniques I have students do with various shoulder injuries. It will work on building the aforementioned muscles and creating stability in the joint.
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    Jan 26, 2012 11:03 AM GMT
    Not to sound alarmist, but is this something that developed recently, or have you always had a winging right scapula?

    This may not be a muscular problem.
  • buckeye7

    Posts: 9

    Jan 27, 2012 1:39 AM GMT
    First off, thank you to everyone that responded! I really appreciate the suggestions. I will say that along with the chiropractor right now, I am also doing what I think is incline serratus pushups with DB's in my hands, I am doing a light lat pulldown, light seated row and light t-bar row. It seems to help a little but I still have the winging but haven't been doing it for that long (relative term in this situation).

    I have read this takes forever to heal too which is terrible news for me. I have made an appointment for next Tuesday to see a therapist specializing in MAT like I mentioned above. I will also try the suggestions, the wall stretch in particular sounds good but might be difficult to mirror the exact description. How long are you all talking/thinking for rehab? I have not been able to do any upper body for months now.

    To Bryanc's question...I was in a very serious accident almost 5.5 yrs ago. I have nerve damage from a brain injury but I will say this did not occur post accident and seems to have come over time.
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    Jan 27, 2012 5:30 AM GMT
    I think a winged scapula can also be from your pec minor being tight. You might do well to go see a massage therapist who specializes in neuromuscular therapy to get that checked out. I agree with strengthening serratus anterior.

    In terms of going back and hitting the gym hard, it's probably going to be awhile. You're going to rebuild strength and gain mobility in key muscles before you can really stress the area. Patience.
  • buckeye7

    Posts: 9

    Jan 28, 2012 3:17 PM GMT
    Yes I think you are right about being a while (unfortunately). All I can do is remind myself it could be worse. Thanks for your comment.
  • buckeye7

    Posts: 9

    Jan 28, 2012 3:25 PM GMT

    Video of exactly what I have
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    Jan 28, 2012 3:42 PM GMT
    Can sometimes be the result of injury to the long thoracic nerve which innervates the serratus and anterior muscle. Typically happens after a blow to the ribs underneath an outstretched arm. If so you should probably see an MD.
  • DesireIron

    Posts: 426

    Jan 29, 2012 5:35 AM GMT
    buckeye7 saidI am about to try something called MAT (Muscle Activation Therapy) with the goal of getting the muscle to start activating again.

    I had MAT therapy done on me for months. I studied up on alpha-gamma co-acitivation so I could try to understand how it works. I can say it is just about miraculous the way it makes a muscle instantly stronger. I am just not sure about its long term benefits. But I didnt like take notes after every session to be able to go back and do a comparison. I may have improved slightly after each session and not noticed the cumulative improvement cuz it developed in such small stages. I kinda see it now as a diagnostic tool to identify the problem muscles...and then you go work them out.
  • buckeye7

    Posts: 9

    Feb 07, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
    Athleticguy: 6yrs ago I fell from a 3 story building while sleep-walking (FREAK accident!) and landed on my right shoulder. I am almost positive this is a result of the fall but has just been slowly working its way until I pushed myself passed the threshold.

    DesireIron: Did you do anything when you had MAT done? The guy performing it says it is ok to do light lifting to try to strengthen the muscles. I just have to remind myself it needs to be light and not try to go too heavy.

  • OJ89

    Posts: 106

    Apr 02, 2012 12:07 PM GMT
    I used to have the worst winging scapula EVER!
    I looked like an angel with broken wings on his back and very round shoulders.
    Following my physio it's now fixed after a few months.
    Keep it up and I'm sure you'll be fine icon_smile.gif

    (This is how mine were)