When your shoulder blades aren’t stable, you may experience a shoulder disorder called scapular dyskinesis. It is characterized as losing a normal range of motion in your shoulder blades. In some cases, it is a condition of its own. Other times, scapular dyskinesis is a symptom of another health condition or injury.
Your shoulder blade is important for movement and range of motion in your shoulders. Also called the scapula, your shoulder blades provide stability to your rotator cuff. If you sustain an injury to your soft tissue, muscle, or bone around your shoulder, it may impact your shoulder blade too.
Scapular dyskinesis is easily identified because it causes your shoulder blades to stick out abnormally either during rest or activity. Scapular dyskinesis is also called winging because your shoulder blades stick out like wings on your back. Although the condition itself may not be painful, it can leave you at a greater risk of injury.
Damage may hinder a piece within this movement sequence. Playing sports increases your risk of the condition because more than 90% of unidirectional cases result from a dislocation injury. Sports with the highest likelihood of leading to scapular dyskinesis include:
Scapular dyskinesis may not be obvious at first. You may feel pain or discomfort without obvious physical symptoms. Alternately, your shoulder blades may stick out with no accompanying pain or discomfort.
If you think something is wrong, talk to your therapist or doctor immediately. Allowing the condition to go on without treatment may leave you at greater risk for additional damage, including:
If you notice that specific movement makes your pain or discomfort worse, be sure to share that. Include details about what happened when you first experienced a loss of motion or noticed a change in your shoulder blades.