What is a Winged Scapula?
What Can I do about it?

When you find that you have a winged scapula, or when someone tells you that you have scapular winging, you may be quite surprised.






Many people live with this minor abnormality for years without any pain or functional disability.

Although I was unable to find any documented evidence on the prevalence or frequency of scapular winging, mild cases seem to be quite common in the general population.

"spread along a continuum"

It seems that people living with scapular winging are spread along a continuum ranging from:

  • People with mild scapular winging, who have only a minor anatomic variation, without pain or disability
  • People with moderate scapular winging, who have a more noticeable differences in their anatomy and mild pain, but no disability
  • People with more severe scapular winging, who have obvious deformity, with pain and weakness that limits their ability to function

"your shoulder blade will push out towards the back"

A scapula winging is defined as a scapula that does not lie flat against the chest wall throughout its range of motion. If you have scapular winging, your shoulder blade will push out towards the back when you reach out in front of you.

scapular winging

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In most cases the scapula will lay flat against the chest when at rest, and only protrude when the arm is elevated forward. Winging will increase when weight is added to the arm, and winging will decrease when the arm is supported.

"evaluate your own scapula for winging by"

Depending on your degree of winging you may also have scapula pain, neck pain or trapezius muscle pain that is increased with reaching in front of your body. 

This video demonstrates scapular winging.

You may have increased pain when trying to hold weight out in front of your body. In more severe cases you may not be able to raise your arm above your head.

You can evaluate your own scapula for winging by reaching behind your back with one hand and touching the tip of the opposite scapula.

Check Out Your Own Scapula

 When you raise that arm in front of you can feel a winging scapula lift off of the chest wall. A normal scapula will lie against a chest wall and rotate down as you raise that arm.

Learn More About
Your Winged Scapula

What Causes a Winged Scapula?



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