General Considerations: The Shoulder Girdle: Function & Issues

  • The shoulder girdle is considered complex, made up of many moving parts and with a unique structure. And the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body. The complexity and mobility are often considered keys to understanding potential issues and how to keep the shoulder joint safe.
  • Because the shoulder joint is more mobile than it is stable, it is vulnerable to injury. Keeping it safe involves proper strengthening as well as mobility.
  • As with all joints, the shoulder is intended to be moved in all its various ways. A common issue in modern society is not moving the shoulder joint throughout its full range of movement in everyday life.
  • A related issue is the repetition of forward-reaching tasks, causing misalignment and imbalance.

Lots of Moving Parts

There are 17 muscles that attach to each shoulder blade, all requiring a lot of strength and mobility to coordinate all the moving parts. – Sarah Evans

Unlike the Hip Joint

The shoulder girdle is two pairs of bony units — right scapula and clavicle and left scapula and clavicle — as opposed to the seemingly solid pelvis… While the hip socket is a solid cup for the head of the femur to sit into, the shoulder socket is only a loose structure formed by the acromial and coracoid processes of the shoulder blade… Because it is lighter and bound in only one place without firm support, the shoulder girdle is more vulnerable to deformation than the pelvis. And being farther from the ground, it offers gravity greater leverage for destruction. – Core Walking