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  • Winged scapula

    Hi Drs

    It seems that I have a winged scapula, left side. This isn't something I had noticed myself until I joined a local powerlifting club a few months ago (having trained exclusively at home since getting into powerlifting just pre-Covid). The head coach there immediately spotted it when I was squatting.

    The main effects I find from this are that when squatting the bar sits somewhat sloped across my back, lower on the left side, even when I try to over-correct for this so that it is levelled out. I can see this clearly if I video from behind, and it's also pretty evident when the bar will at times touch the safety on the left side but not the right (or when I pin squat, it touches down on the left side first, for example). I expect the winging must've occurred a while back, as I also experienced this when squatting over the past year.

    That in itself is a nuisance but not a really big concern other than it's likely less efficient. However, I transitioned to low bar squatting in June and since then it has become a bit more problematic. I find that I feel quite a lot more pressure through my left shoulder and down my left arm, particularly in my left elbow. This then at times carries over into my benching, leaving me less stable on my left hand side, probably due to both the weakness at the elbow and in the scapula.

    Is this something you would advise trying to 'fix'? I feel like it is/will be holding me back.

    is it plausible for it to have been caused, or exacerbated, by my mixed grip deadlifting? My left hand is my supinated hand, so it seems like it could be to me, but when trying to research whether others have experienced this haven't found anything to suggest so. As much as I'd like to improve this situation, I'm not super keen on trying out hook grip, but if it was plausible, or even likely, to be mixed grip causing/exacerbating it then would certainly be willing to give hook grip a go.

    Many thanks
    Matt

  • #2
    Hi, is there any other info I should have included that would help with providing any advice or guidance? Or have I slipped into worrying about something that's terribly unimportant, or worse still isn't a real thing and has just been invented by other physical therapists and I just need to get on with things?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TxSprinter View Post
      Hi Drs

      It seems that I have a winged scapula, left side. This isn't something I had noticed myself until I joined a local powerlifting club a few months ago (having trained exclusively at home since getting into powerlifting just pre-Covid). The head coach there immediately spotted it when I was squatting.

      The main effects I find from this are that when squatting the bar sits somewhat sloped across my back, lower on the left side, even when I try to over-correct for this so that it is levelled out. I can see this clearly if I video from behind, and it's also pretty evident when the bar will at times touch the safety on the left side but not the right (or when I pin squat, it touches down on the left side first, for example). I expect the winging must've occurred a while back, as I also experienced this when squatting over the past year.

      That in itself is a nuisance but not a really big concern other than it's likely less efficient. However, I transitioned to low bar squatting in June and since then it has become a bit more problematic. I find that I feel quite a lot more pressure through my left shoulder and down my left arm, particularly in my left elbow. This then at times carries over into my benching, leaving me less stable on my left hand side, probably due to both the weakness at the elbow and in the scapula.

      Is this something you would advise trying to 'fix'? I feel like it is/will be holding me back.

      is it plausible for it to have been caused, or exacerbated, by my mixed grip deadlifting? My left hand is my supinated hand, so it seems like it could be to me, but when trying to research whether others have experienced this haven't found anything to suggest so. As much as I'd like to improve this situation, I'm not super keen on trying out hook grip, but if it was plausible, or even likely, to be mixed grip causing/exacerbating it then would certainly be willing to give hook grip a go.

      Many thanks
      Matt
      Hey, thanks for the questions. Admittedly, this isn't something worth worrying about. Many of us squat with a bar position that doesn't appear to sit evenly across our backs. I suspect the left arm experience you are reporting is more related to overall loading of the area. We have a shoulder series that starts here: https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog...lardyskinesis/

      True scapular winging involves a deficit to the long thoracic nerve which often is subsequent a trauma. If this has occurred, even then there's not a lot we can do to resolve the issue given the neurological deficit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the reply, Michael. That's a relief to hear. I'll check out the series on the shoulder for further info.

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