Muscular imbalances around the complex structures of the shoulder can develop abnormal activation patterns and inherent myofascial restrictions, both which can cause a significant decrease in the athlete’s scapular control and dyskinesis, leading to glenohumeral joint injuries resulting from instability and impingement.
The serratus anterior, or SA, is one of the muscles of the scapula that functions by providing a connection between the shoulder girdle and the trunk, however, it’s often believed to be a dysfunctional muscle among shoulder pathologies. The serratus anterior is a primarily offers movement to the scapula, contributing to the maintenance of normal scapulo-humeral rhythm and motion. Due to its insertion on the inferior and medial border of the scapula, it can produce upward rotation and posterior tilting. Poor activation of the serratus anterior muscle may result in limited scapular rotation and protraction, causing a relative anterior-superior translation of the humeral head in relation to its glenoid articulation, leading to sub-acromial impingement and rotator cuff tears.
The serratus anterior is characterized as a flat sheet of muscle beginning from the lateral surface of the first nine ribs. Then, it passes behind and around the thoracic wall before inserting into the anterior surface of the medial border of the scapula. The most important function of the serratus anterior, or SA, is to protract and rotate the scapula, helping to maintain it close yet away from the thoracic wall, allowing for the proper positioning of the glenoid fossa to increase the efficiency of upper extremity motion to its maximum state. The anatomy of the SA can be broken down into three anatomical components as follows: Read more.
Shoulder pain is a common complication which affects many athletes who participate in overhead sports. Overhead, physical activities primarily utilize upper extremity movements that place tremendously high demands on the structures of the shoulder. The serratus anterior, or SA, is a muscle that plays an essential role in the movement and control of the scapula and it’s crucial to strengthen it to avoid shoulder injury. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 950-0900.