Friday, June 20, 2008

3-Point Scap Rotational Assessment

From my newsletter:

One of my former staff member's (left pic) is demonstrating an easy assessment to guage the level of eccentric rotational strength your torso has when unilateral load stability is introduced. To execute: Lie on all 4's on floor or mat with arms placed at about ear level or slightly above. Do not place them in a "push-up" position, rather slightly higher on floor.

Next, shift your bodyweight forward so that you feel your upperbody handling the load. (Note: the knees are still in contact with floor and ankles are not crossed). Once the weight is shifted, slowly raise one arm off the floor with thumb pointed upwards. It is important to keep the arm straight (not bending the elbow) and movement should be initiated from the scapula. Contradictions: Most clients will immediately shift their bodyweight back to the hips as soon as the arm comes up off the floor. This is a "nervous" reaction as they fear falling forward, however, bodyweight placement is IMPORTANT as we observe. As we observe the client hold this position for a 8-10 second count, we are looking and questioning "does the hip of the side of the lifted arm rotate towards the floor? And is there a "dip" in the upper torso and overall loss of balance?" Have the client alternate arms after observing each side.

If we do find a lack of rotational stability, then hip work (strength & mobility) and core work should be addressed. If we find that the arm cannot lift parallel with the ear, or movement of the arm causes loss of overall balance, then we can assume that the scapulae needs mobility work. Lack of mobility or ROM in the scapulae inhibits proper scapulo-humeral movement, which in turn, affects positioning and function of the lumbar spine and exposes weakness.
This assessment and exercises that can help correct mobility and weakness issues can be found in the Stronger Shoulders DVD.


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