Tom Willemann Health Tips

"Regular Health Tips From Physical Therapist Tom Willemann..."

Use the Form Below to Get Them All Sent to You for FREE

When Your Shoulder Blade Is “SICK”

ptd0414backDo you have a “SICK” scapula? No, not sick with a fever or a cold, but SICK—an abnormal condition of the shoulder blade. This condition is characterized by

  • Scapular malposition: The scapula has moved to an abnormal position on the rib cage.


  • Inferior medial border prominence: The scapula protrudes abnormally along the back.


  • Coracoid pain and malposition: Pain at the top of the shoulder is caused by movement of the coracoid process (a bony projection from the neck of the scapula) to an abnormal position.


  • dysKinesis abnormalities: The scapula moves abnormally as the arm moves (also called scapular dyskinesis).

The scapula (shoulder blade) is attached to the rest of your skeleton only at the clavicle (collarbone). It is held in place by multiple muscles that must be strong enough to keep it stable but flexible enough to allow arm movement in multiple planes. SICK scapula develops most often in athletes, such as pitchers, volleyball players and tennis players, who make repetitive, forceful overhead movements.
Repeated overhead motion creates abnormal stresses on the muscles that hold the scapula in place. As a result, some muscles weaken while others tighten, and the scapula is pulled out of position. Eventually the affected shoulder will appear lower than the normal shoulder, and the scapula may visibly push out or protrude from the back. Other symptoms include severe pain at the top, front or back of the scapula; heaviness in the arm when performing overhead activities; or a noticeable hitch or jump in scapular motion when the arm moves.
A SICK scapula is corrected by strengthening the muscles that hold the bone in place. If you have received a diagnosis of SICK scapula or scapular dyskinesis, we can design an exercise program to strengthen the muscles that hold the scapula in place in a balanced, corrective way. If left untreated, SICK scapula can progress to conditions that need surgical correction or end an athletic career.   An orthopedic/sports physical therapist can provide an exercise program to help alleviate your shoulder pain.
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Wyckoff, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Wyckoff, and Bergen County region.  This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Share This