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Braz J Phys Ther. 2019 Nov - Dec;23(6):467-475. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2019.01.011. Epub 2019 Feb 3.

Kinesiologic considerations for targeting activation of scapulothoracic muscles - part 2: trapezius.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Analysis and Intervention of the Shoulder Complex, Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: prcamargo@ufscar.br.
2
Department of Physical Therapy, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The trapezius is an extensive muscle subdivided into upper, middle, and lower parts. This muscle is a dominant stabilizer of the scapula, normally operating synergistically with other scapular muscles, most notably the serratus anterior. Altered activation, poor control, or reduced strength of the different parts of the trapezius have been linked with abnormal scapular movements, often associated with pain. Several exercises have been designed and studied that specifically target the different parts of the trapezius, with the goal of developing exercises that optimize scapular position and scapulohumeral rhythm that reduce pain and increase function.

METHODS:

This paper describes the anatomy, kinesiology, and pathokinesiology of the trapezius as well as exercises that selectively target the activation of the different parts of this complex muscle.

CONCLUSIONS:

This review provides the anatomy and kinesiology of the trapezius muscle with the underlying intention of understanding how this muscle contributes to the normal mechanics of the scapula as well as the entire shoulder region. This paper can guide the clinician with planning exercises that specifically target the different parts of the trapezius. It is recommended that this paper be read as a companion to another paper: Kinesiologic considerations for targeting activation of scapulothoracic muscles - part 1: serratus anterior.

KEYWORDS:

Physical therapy; Scapular dyskinesis; Scapulothoracic joint; Shoulder rehabilitation; Trapezius exercises

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