This paper was submitted by A. Kamkar as partial fulfillment of the requirements of the master of science degree at the University of Pittsburgh.
Shoulder pain secondary to impingement of the rotator cuff tendons underneath the coracoacromial arch is a common problem seen in athletes who perform repetitive overhead activities. Shoulder impingement has been classified into primary and secondary types. Several factors contribute to impingement, including rotator cuff weakness, posterior capsule tightness, and subacromial crowding. Recently, it has been proposed that scapulothoracic muscle weakness could be a factor that contributes to impingement. Traditional rehabilitation protocols for shoulder impingement syndrome stress individualized rotator cuff strengthening. The authors propose that individualized scapulothoracic muscle strengthening should be a part of any protocol for nonoperative treatment of secondary shoulder impingement syndrome.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1993;17(5):212-224.
Key Words: scapulothoracic muscles, shoulder impingement syndrome, rehabilitation