Winged scapula

A winged scapula is basically an indication of another condition where the shoulder blade protrudes outwards at the back, instead of being flat against the rear of the chest wall.

What are the indications?

If an individual has a winged scapula, it is quite evident since the shoulder blades protrudes outwards to the back.

It can be accompanied by shoulder pain along with pressure from a chair if seated. If due to an injury that results to nerve damage, the individual might have diminished shoulder elevation aside from the shoulder pain and discomfort.

Possible causes

Winged scapula

It can be accompanied by shoulder pain along with pressure from a chair if seated.

As a common dysfunction of the shoulder, it is usually linked with poor posture. A winged scapula is also linked with damage or contusion to the elongated thoracic nerve of the shoulder and/or weakening in the serratus anterior muscle.

In case the elongated thoracic nerve is injured or bruised, it can result to the paralysis of the serratus anterior muscle and a winged scapula. As for damage to the nerve, it might be due to blunt trauma or contusion, traction of the neck and even viral illnesses.

Management

The application of an ice pack can help minimize the shoulder blade pain but this requires assistance.

A rehabilitation and strengthening program usually includes exercises for the shoulder. It is vital to strengthen the serratus anterior muscle which secures the shoulder blade in its right position. A doctor should be consulted especially in cases where the shoulder is not responsive to strengthening exercises. The primary course of treatment is conservative in nature but oftentimes surgery might be required especially if nerve entrapment is a cause.

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