OBJECTIVE: To examine the influence of the cervicothoracic spine and upper ribs (shoulder girdle) on glenohumeral mobility and the development of shoulder complaints.
DATA COLLECTION AND SYNTHESIS: Literature was collected by a search in Medline and Embase for English, German and Dutch publications, by further checking references in the articles found and by perusal of already collected literature regarding shoulder research. Articles referring directly or indirectly to a mutually influencing anatomical connection between the cervicothoracic spine, upper ribs (shoulder girdle) and scapulohumeral joint were selected during a consensus meeting of all reviewers.
RESULTS: Eight relevant articles, differing strongly in supposition and objective, were found and subsequently classified and presented according to the anatomical relations indicated in the articles. Indications were found that suggested anatomical relations between the mobility in the shoulder girdle and the scapulohumeral joint, between the mobility in the spinal column and the first rib (shoulder girdle) and between the spinal column and the scapulohumeral joint. No relevant indications regarding the development of shoulder complaints were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Although no direct evidence was found, a comparison of the results of this study with theories postulated by other researchers on this subject suggests that a certain relation does exist.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Article only available in print.