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the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the
first four cervical vertebrae (Fig. 7.20). The distal station
of this line is the superior angle of the scapula, just
above where the rhomboids join, but these fascial fibers
link to the supraspinatus, which runs along the top of
the scapula in the supraspinous fossa to the top of the
ball of the humerus (DVD ref: Shoulders and Arm Lines,
1:02:00-1:04:20). Thus the DBAL includes at least three
of the rotator cuff muscles.
The fourth of the rotator cuff set, the subscapularis,
which covers the anterior surface of the scapula and
goes to the anterior aspect of the head of the humerus,
is certainly linked into this line, though it is a little dif-
ficult to justify this as a direct connection in terms of
Anatomy Trains rules (Fig. 7.21). The rhomboid myofas-
ciae certainly pull on the scapula, which is intimately
connected with the subscapularis, though we would be
hard pressed to connect rhomboideus in a direct fascial
manner with subscapularis. We can say that the whole
complex is joined mechanically through the bone of the
scapula. Whatever our justification, the subscapularis
clearly plays a crucial role in the balance of the shoulder,
and should be considered, rules or not, as part of the
DBAL complex (DVD ref: Shoulders and Arm Lines,
These four muscles of the rotator cuff control the
rounded head of the humerus in much the same way as
the ocular muscles control the orbit of the eye (Fig. 7.22).
According to Frank Wilson, author of the delightful The
Hand: 2
The brain points the arm and finger as accurately as it
points the eye. In the orbit and at the shoulder, the eye
and the humerus are free to rotate (or swing) infront-to-
Fig. 7.20 An alternative branch line for the DBAL consists of the
rectus capitis lateralis leading down onto the levator scapulae.
Together, these two connect the head and neck to the
supraspinatus over the apex of the scapula.
Fig. 7.22 There is an interesting muscular parallel between the
control of the orb of the eye and the control of the rounded head
of the humerus.
Fig. 7.21 The second track of the
DBAL is the entire rotator cuff complex
that sandwiches the scapula, including
the subscapularis.
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