The increase in the activity of the upward rotators of the scapula between 60° and 90° of shoulder flexion is similar to the gradual increase in activity of the upper trapezius and serratus anterior muscles during arm abduction (Bagg and Forrest, 1986). In that study, the lower trapezius remained relatively inactive until the arm was abducted 90°. The lower trapezius increased its activity – and therefore its contribution to the upward rotation force couple – as the arm was elevated beyond 90°. With increasing abduction, the instantaneous centre of rotation of the scapula moved toward the acromioclavicular joint from the root of the spine of
the scapula, lengthening the Cisplatin concentration moment arm of the lower trapezius muscle (Bagg and Forrest, 1988). Similarly, in the current study of flexion, the moment arm of the lower trapezius lengthens as the amount of shoulder flexion increases. This is likely to be responsible the significant increase in activity of the lower trapezius at 90° flexion (especially maintaining the isometric contraction) compared to at 60° flexion. This finding is consistent with the results of other studies investigating muscle activity in the scapular upward rotator muscles during arm elevation (Antony and Keir, 2010, Ebaugh et al 2005, Jarvholm et al 1991, Mathiassen and Winkel, 1990). Muscle activity in the upper trapezius increased significantly when the participants maintained 60°
of shoulder flexion while simultaneously reducing scapular winging using real-time visual feedback. Sahrmann (2002) stated that an increase in upper trapezius activation is needed INCB024360 mw to compensate for the weakened serratus anterior muscle. Thus the upper trapezius may be supporting the increased activity in the serratus anterior, which was significantly greater at both the 60° and 90° angles when visual feedback was provided. The
marker displacement in the frontal plane indicated that scapular elevation increased significantly at the 60° shoulder flexion angle when visual feedback was provided. This may also be the result of the activity of the upper trapezius at the 60° angle. Anterior movement of the acromion in the sagittal plane was significantly greater at both shoulder flexion Bumetanide angles when visual feedback was provided, which is consistent with the increased activity of serratus anterior. These findings indicate that visual feedback helped the participants activate appropriate musculature during shoulder flexion to control scapular winging. A number of exercises to strengthen serratus anterior have been described in the literature (Decker et al 1999, Ekstrom et al 2003, Hardwick et al 2006, Ludewig et al 2004). These exercises should be performed with scapular protraction to activate the serratus anterior muscle while stabilising the thoracic wall, and they should be carried out with no scapular winging.