Effects of sex differences on scapular motion during arm elevation

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Effects of sex differences on scapular motion during arm elevation

  • Nagamatsu, Takashi
  • Kai, Yoshihiro
  • Gotoh, Masafumi
  • Madokoro, Kazuya
  • Shiba, Naoto
Published Article
EDP Sciences
Publication Date
Jun 08, 2015
DOI: 10.1051/sicotj/2015004
EDP Sciences
  • Original Article


Introduction: Scapular motion during arm elevation is frequently evaluated in patients with shoulder disorders because it provides clinically useful information. With the development of measurement devices and improvement in accuracy, comparisons under various conditions have recently been reported. However, in most of these reports, the subjects examined were limited to males, or a mixed population of males and females. Only a few reports have described sex differences. In the current study, we performed three-dimensional dynamic analysis of arm elevation and investigated whether there is a sex difference in scapular motion. Methods: Subjects included 18 healthy adult males (18 shoulders) and 19 healthy adult females (19 shoulders). Thirty-seven shoulders were on the dominant side. The age range was 20.5 ± 0.03 years. Subjects performed scapular plane arm elevation, and kinematic data were recorded using an electromagnetic tracking device. Scapular upward rotation and internal rotation angles and the posterior tilt angle accompanying arm elevation were calculated from recorded data. Changes in each angle during scapular motion were recorded according to sex. Results: There were sex differences in scapular upward rotation and internal rotation angles. The upward rotation angle was significantly greater in males, whereas the internal rotation angle was significantly greater in females. No sex differences were noted in the scapular posterior tilt angle. Discussion: Findings of this study may serve as basic data for scapular motion during scapular plane elevation in healthy males and females. In addition, it is necessary to evaluate and treat the shoulder while taking sex differences in scapular movement into consideration.

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