Orthopaedics

S.I.C.K Scapula Syndrome

Athletes who are into sports like tennis, cricket, baseball, volleyball etc are the ones who are known to develop this S.I.C.K scapula syndrome. The abbreviation S.I.C.K stands for S-scapular malposition, I-inferior medial scapular winging, C-coracoid tenderness and K-scapular dysKinesis. Often a S.I.C.K scapula is mistook for a problem with the rotator cuff injury. But an injury of the rotator cuff is different from S.I.C.K scapula syndrome.

S.I.C.K Scapula Syndrome

This problem of the scapula (or the shoulder blade) was first observed in professional baseball players. What the doctors observed in these players was that their throwing shoulder’s internal rotation was considerably reduced. Also, while the internal rotation was decreased, the external rotation was found to be increased. At the same time, it was observed that a part of the athlete’s shoulder capsule tightened.

  • When the internal rotation decreases and the external rotation increases, it damages the cartilage in the shoulder joint causing severe pain and discomfort. This problem is referred to as SLAP lesion.
  • Another observation that was made was that the shoulder blade’s inside border and/or the bottom tip causing the scapula to wing away from the ribcage. (a certain muscle called the Pectoralis Minor is attached from the ribs to the shoulder blade or the scapula) causing scapular winging.
  • Also, it was observed that when these athletes tried to raise their arms to their front, they experienced severe pain in their shoulder, this problem is referred to as impingement syndrome.
  • The last observation was that the movement of the shoulder was not smooth any more, this problem is referred to as scapular dyskinesis.

Apart from baseball athletes, the same kind of problems were also observed in people who work on computers and in recreational athletes. The best treatment for S.I.C.K scapula syndrome is physical rehabilitation. Medical acupuncture and various other soft tissue techniques are also available to treat this problem in professional athletes.

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