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Functional Anatomy

Functional Anatomy

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Published by: webby2k12 on Mar 29, 2012
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The muscles of the shoulder are responsible for the multiaxial rotations
that occur at the glenohumeral joint, as well as dynamic stabilization
of the joint during activity. Muscular stabilization helps to prevent
dislocation of the head of the humerus from its shallow socket in the
glenoid fossa of the scapula. The muscles of the glenohumeral joint
are deltoid, pectoralis major, coracobrachialis, latissimus dorsi, teres
major, and the four rotator cuff muscles. The muscles of the rotator
cuff are subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor.
The muscles of the scapulothoracic joint are trapezius, rhomboid major
and minor, levator scapula, pectoralis minor, and serratus anterior.
The most superficial muscle of the shoulder is the deltoid, which
has anterior, middle, and posterior heads and gives the shoulder its
characteristic rounded shape. As a whole, the deltoid abducts the
arm. The anterior deltoid flexes and internally rotates the arm and
the posterior deltoid extends and externally rotates the arm. Pectoralis
major flexes and internally rotates the arm from its anatomical reference
position. The muscle is a powerful horizontal adductor of the arm
and an extensor of the arm from a vertical position. The latissimus
dorsi extends, adducts, and internally rotates the arm. Teres major
adducts and extends the arm and contributes to internal rotation.
Coracobrachialis helps to flex and adduct the arm.
The glenohumeral joint relies heavily on its soft tissues to stabilize
it because the glenoid fossa of the scapula provides only a shallow
socket in which the head of the humerus sits (see shoulder complex –

108 Shoulder complex

joints). Stability of the joint is achieved passively by the ligaments that
span the joint and functionally by the muscles surrounding the joint.
Muscles are responsible for both joint rotation movements and drawing
the bones together to strengthen the joint and maintain its integrity.
The major role of the infraspinatus, supraspinatus, subscapularis,
and teres minor muscles – the rotator cuff – is strengthening and
stabilizing the shoulder joint by drawing the humerus into the glenoid
fossa. The glenoid fossa is shallow and almost vertical in orientation,
therefore the supraspinatus plays a major role in preventing downward
dislocation of the humerus when carrying heavy weights in the hand.
The infraspinatus and teres minor muscles also play a role in external
rotation of the arm. Subscapularis is an internal rotator of the arm.
The muscles of the shoulder region can be strengthened primarily
by various dumbbell exercises, which recruit different parts of the
muscles depending on whether the dumbbell is raised to the front,
side, or rear of the body. Dumbbell raises are single-joint exercises that
isolate the movements of the shoulder. The shoulder muscles are also
recruited in compound exercises that mainly involve the large chest or
back muscles, such as bench press and rowing exercises respectively.
In these exercises, which more closely mimic the likely role of the
shoulder during activity, the shoulder muscles contribute to abduction,
adduction, flexion, extension, horizontal abduction, and horizontal
adduction at the shoulder, as well as providing stability of the shoulder
joint and a strong link between the arms and the trunk. The dual role
of the shoulder muscles in joint rotation and stability is well illustrated
by the role of the shoulder in rowing. For a large part of the drive
phase, the shoulder muscles are responsible for shoulder joint stability
and the effective transfer of power from the lower body to the oar in
the hands of the rower. However, at the end of the stroke, the shoulder
muscles act concentrically in extending and then flexing the shoulder
as the oar is removed from the water at the end of the stroke.

Shoulder complex 109

See also muscles; shoulder complex; shoulder complex – bones;
shoulder complex – joints; shoulder complex – ligaments; thoracic

110 Skeletal muscle function

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