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When There is Tightness Around the Scapula
If your patient has tightness around the scapula, you may notice decreased ROM in shoulder flexion or abduction or decreased scapular gliding as you try to mobilize the scapula.
Some patients may also experience pain or discomfort related to their tightness.
Here is an effective method to work on scapular tightness:
|Start with the trunk.
Begin with your patient in supine, with their hips and knees in flexion.
Place their arm wherever it is comfortable, along their side is best.
Slowly help them move their knees toward their weak side and then toward their strong side, encouraging trunk rotation.
Go only to the point of any discomfort and no further.
As they move from side to side, this slow stretch puts the latissimus dorsi and other muscles acting on the scapula on length.
It will now be easier to continue with upper extremity ROM and scapular mobilization.
Avoid this if your patient has a history of back pain.
For more treatment ideas see: Teaching Independence: A Therapeutic Approach to Stroke Rehabilitation (TI)