The scapula is commonly referred to as the shoulder blade. It connects the humerus bone of the arm to the collarbone. There are only three muscles that are responsible for the movement of the shoulder blade. The trapezius muscle implants into the collarbone. It is responsible for movement of the shoulder and head. The trapezius also plays an important role in respiration. The levator muscle is a small, thin muscle. It arises from the vertebrae of the neck. A small tendon attaches the levator to the upper area of the shoulder blade. This muscle is responsible for pulling up the scapula allowing for shrugging of the shoulders. The rhomboideus is actually two muscles, the major and minor, located deep in the base of the shoulder blade. These muscles are responsible for raising the shoulder blade and moving it backwards. The muscles that move the shoulder forward come from the breast. Upward movements are controlled by muscles located in the neck.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Scapula