"The system of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones that make up the shoulder joint is unique. Although most bones connect to specific places—usually the ends of other bones—the scapulae, or shoulder blades, are different. They hang loosely and slide over a large region of the backs of the ribs. They are capable of rising, lowering, moving to the midline and considerably out toward the sides, and tilting in all three dimensions. The scapulae are not held in place by inelastic ligaments, as are the knees, hips, ankles, elbows, and vertebrae. Rather, a large group of muscles, each flexible and independently contractile, moves the shoulder blades or holds them in place each time the arms move. These muscles span an enormous spatial range in the body; they include the omohyoid and pectoralis muscles arising from the jaw and sternum, to the latissimus dorsi muscles that originate at the back of the pelvis. When you consider how moving the arms and shoulders changes your center of gravity, the activity at the shoulders is practically the whole body's business."
Loren Fisherman and Ellen Saltonstall: Yoga for arthritis
W.W. Norton & Co., Inc, London/New York - 2008
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