Tag Archives: shoulder

strange shoulders (3) ribs

The entire arm rests on the ribcage

the shoulder girdle is only attached to the sternum

Your two arms are more attached to each other than they are to the rest of the body.This is either a terrifying or very liberating thought.

Your arms were designed to work in concert with your rib cage…

I like the term concert because sometimes the ribs and thoracic units have the same melody and purpose. Sometimes one takes the high note and the other takes the low note and harmonize, sometimes one is supposed to just take a rest and let the others carry the movement… and if a small instrument lets say a piccolo (or muscle) is too tight, too loud, off key, sharp and piercing is disruptive to the whole movement, well that’s a concert I don’t want to listen to.[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B00SFVPINK” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51LCaoknDcL.jpg” width=”333″]

In strange shoulders (4) I will explain why I dislike the term rib cage and prefer the term rib slinky, but the image lets you see how unattached the shoulder blade is to the body. it is capable anatomically of many motions, many angles, many resting positions based on gravity and posture and usage.  Any one of those three corners can go up, down, inside, outside, rotate, be adhered to the tissues that connect to the rib cage underneath them,  Resting position can be affected by the fit and style of bra a woman choses to wear, how heavy items are that are routinely carried, by bulking up of muscles anywhere around the joint.

Going back to Wolfe, Davis, and Starling , the bones, connective tissue and blood supply to the entire area are affected by usage, and by default, non usage.   A shoulder can have just as much pain or dysfunction caused by a weak, poorly initiated muscle as it has from a muscle in spasm so strong that it has shut off its own blood supply…..and all the time, it, they rest on the ribs whose movement or lack thereof affects the function of the shoulder.

Want to try a new shoulder exercise? close your eyes and breathe…. feel the connection. Breathe deep sitting, standing, in a recliner, in your bed, lying on your stomach…. discover the magic of how breathing can change your shoulders.


strange shoulders (2)

…. so do you know where the only bony connection of your arm to your body is?

at the top of your breast bone, you might feel two little bumps…. medically known as the sterno clavicular joints, that is where your collar bone attaches to your body.

You have almost thirty bones in your wrist and hands

they attach to the two bones of the forearm

which attach to the long arm of the upper bone

which rests in a shallow, almost saucer shaped receptacle

that is part of the shoulder blade

which has an almost pencil thin attachment to your collar bone….and no other bone

which attaches to your breast bone

about one inch away from your other arm


muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, fat, skin…etc


your shoulder girdle, is designed to rest….and move on top of your rib cage[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B005EI8R3U” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MVxo13pFL.jpg” width=”500″]



strange shoulders…. (1)

I have been fascinated by shoulders for a long time.   I have two of them one has had chronic problems and when I went for diagnostic testing and the only offer I got was “surgery to clean it up in there” but with assurance my arm wouldn’t fall off if I worked on it myself, I revisited anatomy, what I was taught in school,  and my own dyslexic interpretations of pictures and explorations I’ve done on my own.

  1. Most people have no idea where the only bone on bone connection of the arm to the body is, I’ve surveyed clients, colleagues, and friends and less than one in fifty responses are even close….. think about it …. the answer will be in strange shoulders… (2)
  2. Shoulders are very connected to the pelvic girdle and most shoulder rehab programs I’ve participated in when I worked in PT totally ignored the pelvic and lumbar vertebral origins of the Latissimus dorsi [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B017AYJLXK” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NnqNf81xL.jpg” width=”333″]  http://www.easynotecards.com/uploads/226/70/_53022d86_13d85ffda7d__8000_00004862.png
  3. In swimmers, this muscle is seen in the front and is what some call the ‘flying squirrel muscle’ https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&espv=2&rlz=1C1OPRB_enUS522US522&biw=1600&bih=775&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=swimmers+shoulders&oq=swimmers+shoulders&gs_l=img.3..0l3j0i5i30j0i8i30j0i24.767896.780643.0.782613.….0…1c.1.64.img..1.17.1674.3iVJ1fAAv58#imgrc=2SdJugHTY_3zsM%3A
  4. In my experience, when people with shoulder problems do not realize how their arms are connected to their backs and simply do arm exercises, the likelihood of of full, painfree motion is reduced.