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richardis
09-04-2016, 08:15 PM
Most of the time people don't think how they rest their shoulders because it is automatic.

For us, scoliosis sufferers, resting of the shoulders becomes more problematic either because our shoulders are uneven or because our ribs are deformed. So, I wonder what is the normal resting shoulder position for the non-scoliosis sufferers. Do they rest their shoulders on the ribcage, or are shoulders supposed not to touch the ribcage (i.e. scapula touching ribs)?

What relaxed shoulders mean? If our scapulas rest on the ribcage are our muscles over-relaxed?

What is your experience as scoliosis-sufferers? do you rest your shoulders over the ribcage (bone to bone contact)? What should we do?

jackieg412
09-05-2016, 07:15 AM
No the scapula and shoulders don't rest on the ribs. There are muscles. And bursa that keep the scapula off of the ribs. That allows the scapula to move in many different directions and plains. The scapula are responsible for about 30 percent of all arm movement. There aren't any bones that connect the scapula to the ribs it is held in place by muscle. So very often if you seek help for a scapula problem, PT is recommended to help strengthen the muscles.

boogaloo
09-05-2016, 07:41 AM
My understanding is that it depends on couple of factors and that there is no way of telling "it should be this way or that way". Just like the way we walk or the posture we have.
It also depends on the degree of thoracic kyphosis and muscle balance between front deltoids/pectorals and rear deltoids and back muscles that hold scapula retracted. It is very hard to point out which muscles are responsible for these movements because of complexity of each body movement. But we know that overly active front delts and pectorals tend to pull and rotate shoulders forward. Is is advised for people with rolled over shoulders to perform more pulling excercises like face pulls and rows to strenghen back muscles that hold your shoulders in neutral position. That is aslo the reason why a lot of "bros" in the gym are hunched over and have rolled over shoulders, they train too much pushing excercises(i.e. muscles that can be seen in the mirror, pecs, fornt delts) and neglect pulling excercises which strenghten complete posterior chain causing imbalance between front and back.
For people with scoliosis problem is worsened by the deformity itself(degree, rotation and location of the curve) Right thoracic scoliosis(rib hump) will push and rotate your right shoulder forward and your left shoulder will be pulled back and rotated backwards because of thoracic hypokyphosis. Winging scapulas also go hand to hand with all these things.
My right shoulder is rotated forward and left is rotated backward. This causes me to be stronger on my right side in pushing excercises but my left side is stronger in pulling excercises. I'm trying to correct it by doing unilateral excercises at the end of every workout to give those muscles more stimulation.

Pooka1
09-05-2016, 04:21 PM
I agree completely with Boogaloo.

You ask about non-scoliotic people. I am one. We are not without pain and problems associated with shoulders. My resting shoulder position was hunched forward due to working at a computer among other things. That eventually drove me to a physical therapist twice, once for each shoulder, due to extreme pain.

When I started working out with a personal trainer to build up my back muscles so that I could pull my shoulder blades back and down, I was able to change my resting shoulder position to not being hunched forward. Now if I hunch it feels wrong and I sit up with my shoulder blades back and down. But it took working in the gym for over a year with a personal trainer. This is also a key skill in riding. I bought a shoulder brace several years ago that pulls my shoulders back and down and that showed me why that ability is necessary for riding... it activates the core and triggers a balance response as far as I can tell. It feels like a drop in the center of gravity but of course it can't really be that. In the gym, I can instantly do balance moves in a very steady fashion if I do this with my shoulders whereas I will fall if I don't. I don't need the brace any more because now I have the back muscles to do what the brace did.

The point is non-scoliotic people can have piss-poor posture that is so bad it drives them to PT.

When you rest your shoulders, what do you feel? It sounds like whatever it is you are interpreting that as bone-on-bone blade-on-rib. Ask your surgeon but I believe that is physiologically impossible. Is it you feel pain? Or do you feel uneven? If your spine is rotated and your ribs are non-symmetrical, there may be no amount of PT that can correct that. But you might be able to build muscle so that it feels better when you relax your shoulders.

Good luck.

jackieg412
09-05-2016, 05:25 PM
I agree with both of you. You may need help, a PT or trainer because it is very difficult for the patient to work on the correct group of muscles to work the scapula . It is intense work. I am almost 6 months past a muscle transfer to hold my scapula and after intense PT and home training I can see an improvement. Now if your scapula is catching or your arm is getting stuck you need to see an upper extremity specialist. Mine did and we fought for years to get it from snapping and locking. That is why I ended up with a scapulectomy and then a muscle transfer. It is different then a shoulder lower. My shoulder is still lower but not as much. I am told my entire rib cage is lower and there isn't anything to do about that.
However the good news is I can move better and stay balanced now. In my case I should have had a thoracoplasty but at this time of my life it is too risky. But this unique fix has greatly improved my ability to use my arm and have shoulder strength. I call it a success!

richardis
09-05-2016, 08:31 PM
I am looking for the normal/neutral position of the shoulders when standing or sitting.

I think that the correct position is the one who is displayed on https://zygotebody.com . Go to this website, sign in, and then explore it. You can see the human body or skeleton in 3D. Yes, from all angles. It may take you some time until you get used to the features of the website. You can add or remove layers (integumentary system, muscular system , cardiovascular system, etc). If you remove all the layers and select the skeletal system you can see what I assume to be a correct posture. Trust me, it will be a very useful website (some of you may have already used it). You have to be patient and persistent. Once you get the hang of it you will feel very empowered. It even let's you see an isolated muscle. You can add bones, remove bones, add muscles, remove muscles, etc. It has a female and male version of the body. The website has a premium version , but the free version is more than enough to be useful to us. On the middle of the left side of the screen use the slide bars. Explore the (-) and (--) features above the question mark.

My theory is that if I have a correct posture the muscles will adjust by themselves. If the posture featured on https://zygotebody.com is the neutral one, then it is quite clear that the scapulae should not rest on the ribcage. If you do that you are over-relaxing your shoulders. There are a few of muscle origins on the ribs so my ribs deformity may have a less powerful interference on my posture than I previously assume.

As I said on other threads I will give PT a try. I have tried PT before surgery with no success. Now that I am more knowledgeable (e.g. I studied the muscles origins, insertions, its functions, the relations between them, etc) I guess the PT will be more helpful. I mean, I was going to PT like an irresponsible teenager who hits the gym and does the exercises recruiting muscles that are not supposed to be activated. I was cheating. Lifting heavy weights with the help of surrounding muscles is "cheating". Also, if you don't know where are your muscles (what they do) you have no idea of what muscles you are activating. You have to visualize them in your mind. Plus, when going to the gym or PT you have to be concentrated on the muscles you are working on and be constantly conscious of your neurofeedback. Seriously, don't listen to music, don't get distracted. If you are into cardio that may be ok. I was doing all those errors.
Studying very well the exercises before doing them is the key.

This video may also be helpul to some of you - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF7oST34r4s .

Again, in relation to shoulder neutral resting posture: that has been always a mystery to me. I had no clue on how to hang them correctly, and even if I did I couldn't do it because the body compensates for scoliosis. Now that I have had surgery and the spine is straighter, only time will tell.

I would like to hear your feedback and your experiences. Please reply back.

Pooka1
09-05-2016, 09:29 PM
I am looking for the normal/neutral position of the shoulders when standing or sitting.

I don't think most people will exhibit normal/neutral shoulder position, especially if they work at a computer all day.

"Correct" position is shoulders back and down. It takes strength to do for some/many people. Some naturally have good posture.


My theory is that if I have a correct posture the muscles will adjust by themselves. If the posture featured on https://zygotebody.com is the neutral one, then it is quite clear that the scapulae should not rest on the ribcage. If you do that you are over-relaxing your shoulders. There are a few of muscle origins on the ribs so my ribs deformity may have a less powerful interference on my posture than I previously assume.

I think that is backwards. You NEED correct muscling to have good posture. You need the muscle strength to pull the shoulders back and down and have that be the default. Relaxing the shoulders should drop them back and down if the posture is correct. Unfortunately, relaxing the shoulders for many people just produces a hunch. I don't know what "over-relaxing" is. For a curves spine, the curve and rotation will dictate where the shoulders are to a very great extent. Also how you are fused determines where the shoulders are and amount of rotation remaining. For my daughters, their shoulder position post fusion appeared to be determined almost entirely by how much correction they got, the levels that were fused, and to a lesser extent how much rotation was removed. I do not believe there is any type or amount of PT that will change either shoulder height or the position front to back. Those things are set in stone by the levels fused and amount of rotation that remained post fusion. Just my lay observation and opinion.


As I said on other threads I will give PT a try. I have tried PT before surgery with no success. Now that I am more knowledgeable (e.g. I studied the muscles origins, insertions, its functions, the relations between them, etc) I guess the PT will be more helpful. I mean, I was going to PT like an irresponsible teenager who hits the gym and does the exercises recruiting muscles that are not supposed to be activated. I was cheating. Lifting heavy weights with the help of surrounding muscles is "cheating". Also, if you don't know where are your muscles (what they do) you have no idea of what muscles you are activating. You have to visualize them in your mind. Plus, when going to the gym or PT you have to be concentrated on the muscles you are working on and be constantly conscious of your neurofeedback. Seriously, don't listen to music, don't get distracted. If you are into cardio that may be ok. I was doing all those errors.
Studying very well the exercises before doing them is the key.

I have had many conversations with my personal trainer along these lines. This situation is very complex and even professionals disagree. I do the exercises he tells me and he tells me which muscles are activated but I don't always feel that.

burdle
09-06-2016, 05:05 AM
[QUOTE=

I have had many conversations with my personal trainer along these lines. This situation is very complex and even professionals disagree. I do the exercises he tells me and he tells me which muscles are activated but I don't always feel that.[/QUOTE]

Personal trainers do not have an real training regarding the anatomy. Anyone can do a personal trainer course - with barely any qualifications. That's what makes it so dangerous for us Scoliotics!

Pooka1
09-06-2016, 06:05 AM
My personal trainer majored in this in college and has been doing this for 15 years. He knows anatomy, physiology, metabolism, etc.. He is a Level 3 trainer which means he has the experience and knowledge to opine on these matters. I pay him as much as I pay a high level riding instructor because of this. I agree other trainers without this education and experience don't know what they are talking about.

jackieg412
09-06-2016, 10:11 AM
I did watch the one video and a few others popped up. It is a problem that can be very complex. There isn't any way for me to show you the CT scan that helped identity my problem but I can say it was a very long complicated journey. Now that the muscle transfer is healing well , the shoulder strength is returning but it took a lot of very directed PT and even more home exercises and extreme stretching. I am much older than you are and female so you may be able to accomplish the strengthening quicker. The exercises you sent me are a lot of what I do but I will say you must think first to engage the muscle groups along the spine and then do the exercise.