For citation purposes: Postacchini R, Carbone S. Scapular dyskinesis: Diagnosis and treatment. OA Musculoskeletal Medicine 2013 Oct 18;1(2):20.

Critical review


Scapular dyskinesis: Diagnosis and treatment

R Postacchini, S Carbone

Authors affiliations

(1) IUSM (Italian University Sport and Movement), Israeltic Hospital, Rome, Italy

(2) Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University ‘Sapienza’, Rome, Italy

* Corresponding author Email:



Scapular dyskinesis is a condition responsible for alteration of the normal position and kinematics of the scapula rather than a disease. It can thus be found in healthy individuals or be responsible for a syndrome characterised by several symptoms and objective findings, called SICK, which indicates the main features of the disease. Our purpose is to describe the anatomical, pathogenetic and clinical characteristics of the condition, and to highlight the appropriate management.


The vast majority of patients with scapular dyskinesis were overhead athletes, particularly baseball, rugby, tennis and volleyball players. Treatment is based on rehabilitation, using numerous exercises for activating scapulothoracic muscles. However, few studies report the results of the rehabilitative therapy.


Scapular dyskinesis is a well-recognised condition that needs early diagnosis with appropriate clinical examination, including specific tests, and adequate treatment to avoid the instauration of a SICK syndrome. The latter requires aggressive and prolonged treatment to be effectively cured. However, the results of rehabilitation are poorly known.

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