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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov

The Importance of Scapular Strength and Endurance Along the Ribcage in People with Shoulder Pain


Shoulder pain is an all-too-common ailment, especially among those who push their bodies to the limit in the gym or during CrossFit sessions. But what if the key to alleviating this pain isn't just in the shoulder itself but in the scapula's strength and endurance along the ribcage? Today, we'll dive deep into this topic, shedding light on a fresh perspective that could revolutionise the way we approach shoulder pain.

The Complex Nature of the Shoulder

Before we delve into the scapula's role, it's essential to understand the shoulder's intricate nature. Comprising multiple joints and an array of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body. This mobility, while a boon, also makes it susceptible to injuries, especially when not supported by a strong foundation – enter the scapula.

Scapula: The Unsung Hero of Shoulder Health

Often overlooked, the scapula or shoulder blade is the cornerstone of shoulder health. Dr Aaron Horschig from Squat University frequently discusses the scapula's pivotal role in overall shoulder function. When the scapula is weak or lacks endurance, it can lead to a domino effect of issues, with shoulder pain being a prominent symptom.

The Science Behind Scapular Strength

Why does scapular strength matter so much? The scapula's primary role is to provide a stable base for the humerus (upper arm bone). Every time you lift, push, or pull, the scapula must glide smoothly along the ribcage, a movement known as the scapulothoracic rhythm. If the scapula lacks strength, it can result in inefficient movement patterns, leading to undue strain on the shoulder joint.

Dr Stuart McGill, a leading figure in spine biomechanics, often speaks about the body's interconnectedness. A weak scapula can not only affect the shoulder but also have repercussions on the spine and overall posture.

Endurance: The Key to Sustained Health

While strength lays the foundation, endurance ensures longevity. Especially for those involved in high-intensity workouts, the scapula needs to maintain its function over extended periods. Dr Andrew Lock, a prominent figure in the fitness realm, emphasises the role of endurance in injury prevention. By focusing on exercises that build both strength and endurance, individuals can ensure optimal scapular function, reducing the risk of shoulder pain.

A Fresh Perspective: Exercise-Based Solutions

In places like Narre Warren, Berwick, and Cranbourne North, osteopathy is offering a fresh perspective on treating shoulder pain. Instead of merely addressing the symptoms, osteopaths delve deeper, targeting the root cause. By prescribing exercises tailored to strengthen the scapula and improve its endurance, osteopaths are empowering patients to take an active role in their recovery journey.

Katy Bowman, a renowned biomechanist, often highlights the body's incredible adaptability. With the right guidance and a tailored exercise regimen, individuals can retrain their scapula, enhancing its function and, in turn, alleviating shoulder pain.


Shoulder pain, while common, doesn't have to be a life sentence. By shifting our focus to the scapula's strength and endurance along the ribcage, we can adopt a proactive approach to recovery. Exercise-based solutions, especially those championed by osteopaths, offer a holistic path to healing, prioritising empowerment, strength, and movement.

If you've been grappling with persistent shoulder pain and traditional treatments have fallen short, it might be time for a fresh approach. Consider booking a consultation at Gravity Osteopathy and embark on a journey that prioritises strength, movement, and long-term well-being over quick fixes.

Don't let shoulder pain hold you back. Discover the power of exercise-based solutions and take control of your recovery. Book your consultation at Gravity Osteopathy today and empower yourself to move better, stronger, and pain-free.

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