Lions And Tigers And Super-Glued Scapulae, Oh My!

rotator cuff May 12, 2023

Judy is a warm and generous 69 year old quilter who is coming to me for neck and shoulder issues. During the intake she told me she works with a personal trainer once a week. “That’s terrific!” I said. I’m always happy when people are committed to their self-care. I ASSUMED that her trainer had her doing scapulae stabilization exercises.

During our first session I discovered while trying to work with her subscap and serratus anterior that her scapula was so protracted and anteriorly tilted that I could barely palpate either muscle.

After our session I asked her some detailed questions about what exercises she was doing with her personal trainer. I showed her about five examples of scapulae stabilization exercises. “No, she doesn’t have me doing anything like that.” Judy said. “Ah, never assume!,” I thought to myself.

Below are some issues that arise when the scapulae are glued to the thorax:

  • The scapulae are not able to glide on the thorax putting too much pressure on the shoulder joint.
  • The scapulae are not resting in an advantageous biomechanical position for both stability and mobility.
  • Decreased range of movement
  • Increased pain and discomfort

What would help Judy? Since she spends so much of her time at her sewing machine creating her amazing quilts her shoulders are rounded with a forward head.

In addition to skilled bodywork on her neck and shoulders, Judy would definitely benefit from a variety of stabilization exercises like “Push the Towel” shown below. All you need is a wall and a towel and it’s great for all the scapulae stabilizers especially serratus anterior.

Skilled bodywork and the right corrective exercises is a winning combination!

I’m happy to report that Judy’s trainer is doing stabilization exercises with her at my suggestion. In our last session I could actually palpate and work with her her subscap and serratus anterior!



Bodyworkers who want more abundance!
Unlock the Secrets to Become an Abundant Bodyworker

Discover 5 Pathways to Become an Abundant Bodyworker
Get Now

50% Complete

Enter your information below to sign up for tips, tricks, and valuable content related to bodywork.