What Is Scaption?
Scapular plane refers to the planes of your shoulders’ movement. Each of these planes are referred to as planes because they represent different degrees of shoulder flexion or extension. The two most common types of shoulder movements are flexion (upward) and extension (downward). These movements occur at various angles, but in general, the more downward rotation, the greater the amount of upward rotation will result in a given angle.
The scapula is the triangular bone located between your neck and your rib cage. The scapula consists of three bones: the clavicle, sternum, and skullcap. The clavicle is the largest of these bones and attaches to the collarbone via ligaments. The other two bones are called the sternum and skullcap respectively.
They attach to each side of your spine with a series of ligamentous attachments.
The scapula acts like a shock absorber when it comes to bending over. When the scapula moves forward, it pushes against the front of your ribcage and pulls your ribs inward. Conversely, when the scapula moves backward, it compresses your chest and lifts them outward. Your arms move through a variety of positions depending on which way you rotate your upper body.
Scapular plane (scapula) movements are typically used for fine motor skills or to accomplish your actions. When your arms swing forward and backward, the muscles in your shoulders move forward and backward as well, but this doesn’t always happen at the same time. As a result, sometimes you move one of your arms forward and the other one moves slightly backward, or one may even move slightly to the side. It all depends on the position of your body and the direction you want to go.
What Can Scapular Strength Do for You?
It’s important to know that as you age, you start to lose muscle mass. This is partially due to decreased activity and also due to hormonal changes. The good news is that you can slow this process down by participating in strength training activities such as lifting weights. You may have heard some people refer to this as “scapular setback.” However, this isn’t an accurate assessment of what’s really happening.
There are a few myths about what happens when you add muscle to your chest in relation to your scapular and shoulder blades. One of these myths states that your scapula gets “stuck” in your body. As a result, it’s said that you lose the ability to move your arms in certain directions, such as upward rotation. Another common myth is that building up your chest muscles will result in limited shoulder movement.
Fortunately, both of these beliefs are untrue. Your scapula is actually quite free to move and has a wide range of motion. It isn’t attached anywhere near where the muscular attachments are located at the top portion of your chest. The only thing that will change is that your shoulder joint will have increased stability and strength because more muscle tissue is surrounding it.
When most people think about their shoulder blades, they typically only focus on their top blade that is attached to their arms. If you’re experiencing pain in your shoulder blade, then you will want to seek out professional medical treatment. Pain in this area could lead to a more serious condition and should be looked at by a doctor. However, if you are experiencing shoulder blade pain that is coming from other sources, which is common, there are some things you can do at home to start relieving it.
A lot of shoulder blade pain is caused by muscles in the upper back becoming excessively tense. It is believed that this tension comes from repeated poor posture and hunching over a desk or steering wheel for extended periods of time. Fortunately, performing some regular stretching exercises for the muscles in this area can effectively reduce stress and restore normalcy to the body. Stretching can also improve overall range of motion and increase blood flow to this region.
Starting from a seated position, place one hand on your lower back and gently arch back until you feel a mild stretch. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds before repeating. If this is easy for you, try placing the other hand on your lower back to increase the intensity of the stretch.
Another popular exercise is known as the “swimmer’s stretch.” Start by kneeling on both knees and having your arms out in front of you. Slowly drop your upper body down until you feel a mild stretch in the shoulder region. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds before repeating.
A final exercise you may want to try is known as the “standing twist.” Start by standing up straight with your arms raised over your head. Cross your right arm over your left and gently twist your upper body from side-to-side. Hold each position for 10 seconds and then repeat this process for the opposite arm.
By performing these exercises on a regular basis, you can start to alleviate pain caused by stress around your shoulder blades. This will also improve your posture and help prevent re-occurrence of injuries.
In addition to these stretching exercises, there are also some simple things you can do throughout your day to reinforce good posture. One trick is to place both hands on your lower back and try to keep it arched while you are sitting or standing. Another tip is to visualize drawing a horizontal line from your earlobes to your shoulders whenever you start slouching down.
When performing these exercises and using this tip, be sure to do them in a slow and controlled manner. Exerting too much effort can cause you to tense up your muscles and perform the stretches incorrectly.
Shoulder blade pain can be a minor annoyance or a serious impediment to your day-to-day activities. If you experience recurring problems with this issue, it is important to consult with a medical professional. A doctor can determine the exact cause of your discomfort and provide you with the most appropriate solution. In some cases, it may be necessary to resort surgery in order to correct any internal damage or imbalance.
If you are experiencing pain in the shoulder blade region, start performing these simple exercises on a regular basis. You can also make alterations to your day-to-day routine in order to reinforce your posture and avoid slouching down. With some time and effort, you should be able to significantly improve the way your upper body feels.
Sources & references used in this article:
Rehabilitation of scapular muscle balance: which exercises to prescribe? by AM Cools, V Dewitte, F Lanszweert… – … American journal of …, 2007 – journals.sagepub.com
Comparison of muscle activation levels during arm abduction in the plane of the scapula vs. proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation upper extremity patterns by JW Youdas, DB Arend, JM Exstrom… – … Journal of Strength & …, 2012 – journals.lww.com
The effects of taping on scapular kinematics and muscle performance in baseball players with shoulder impingement syndrome by YH Hsu, WY Chen, HC Lin, WTJ Wang… – … of electromyography and …, 2009 – Elsevier
Kinesiology taping does not alter shoulder strength, shoulder proprioception, or scapular kinematics in healthy, physically active subjects and subjects with … by KA Keenan, JS Akins, M Varnell, J Abt… – Physical Therapy in …, 2017 – Elsevier
Scapular kinematics during scaption in competitive swimmers by Y Blache, B Gillet, J Selin, V Sevrez… – European journal of …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis
Qualitative clinical evaluation of scapular dysfunction: a reliability study by WB Kibler, TL Uhl, JWQ Maddux, PV Brooks… – Journal of shoulder and …, 2002 – Elsevier