Introduction: The Shoulder Girdle: Introduction


  • The shoulder girdle is also called the pectoral girdle or the shoulder complex.
  • It is bounded by the shoulder blades (scapulae) in back and the collarbones (clavicle) in front.
  • It has only one bony connection to the trunk at the front of the chest: the sterno clavicular joint where the collarbones meet the breast bone (sternum).
  • It includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • When standing, the upper arm is not involved in weight bearing and is designed to move freely. As a result, the shoulder girdle‚Äôs design sacrifices stability for a greater range of motion.
  • Our focus here is on the shoulder joint and the muscles that move the shoulder blade and upper arms. But, of course, there is a close relationship between the shoulders and the thoracic spine and neck as well.

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