Does Scapular Stability Matter?

What’s This Research About?

This perspective article examines the idea that an unstable scapula is related to shoulder pathology and dysfunction. The authors question this long-held belief, challenging the concepts of scapular instability and scapula dyskinesia as causes of shoulder pain and dysfunction.

About The Author


Jenn Pilotti

TITLE: Critical and Theoretical Perspective on Scapular Stabilization: What Does It Really Mean, Are We on the Right Track?


PUBLICATION: Physical Therapy Journal

DATE: 2016

AUTHORS : Kevin J. McQuade, John Borstad, Anamaria Siriani de Oliveira

Anterior tilt scapula: Top of scapula tilts forward relative to the bottom

Dyskinesia: Scapula movement that is not “normal”

Moment arm: The distance between a joint axis and the line of force acting on it. Every joint that is involved in an exercise has a moment arm. The longer the moment arm is the more load will be applied to the joint axis through leverage.

Muscle stiffness: The ability of a muscle to withstand load. It refers to how the muscle will deform in relation to the amount of force acting on it. (Biomechanically speaking, this has nothing to do with the sensation of stiff or tight muscles)

Perspective article: A peer reviewed article that focuses on current advances and future directions on a particular topic

Posterior tilt of scapula: Top of scapula tilts backwards relative to the bottom

Scapulohumeral rhythm: As the humerus elevates there is a corresponding upward rotation of the scapula

Stability: The ability of a system to return to an orientation or movement trajectory after a perturbation

Upward rotation of scapula: Inferior angle of the scapula moves upward and laterally and is often accompanied by shoulder abduction or flexion

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By |2018-04-30T18:22:15-04:00May 1st, 2018|Musculoskeletal, Other Exercises, Uncategorized, Yoga Poses|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jenn Pilotti has a BS in exercise physiology from UC Davis. After graduating in 2002, she was hired by the Beach and Tennis Club at Pebble Beach as a full time personal trainer. While there, she had the privilege of working with individuals of all ages, many of whom had aches and pains from a life well led. This piqued her interest in injuries, prevention, and pain. After years of undirected self study (and after leaving the security of a full time position to go out on her own), she enrolled in an online program through AT Still University, eventually acquiring a master's in human movement while working full time. After graduating, she continued to read research and write about its application to her work with clients. She fell in love with yoga in 2004, finally became 200 hour RYT in 2014 after years of workshops and self study (there seems to a theme), and continues to study somatic disciplines. She is DNS exercise trainer certified, FRCms, MovNat level I certified, GMB trainer certified, has taken PRI respiration, myokinematics, impingement and instability, and pelvis restoration, and has read an embarrassing number of books on movement, psychology, and wellness. She has an insatiable curiosity about what makes for a healthy person, physically and mentally, and she finds herself often asking why things work for some and not for others. She strongly believes in the power of knowledge and the power of movement. Learn more about Jenn Pilotti.