Complex movements of the shoulder girdle are movements of the whole girdle during which all its parts are connected (see anatomical construction of the shoulder girdle).
All parts of the shoulder girdle co-operate on complex movements. A physiological movement is made possible only by a perfect teamwork of all structures.
If during the examination of complex movements we find a restriction of the extension of complex movements, and a pain during making the complex movements, then the affection can concern any structure involved in complex movements. If we find both these symptoms, we cannot say which structure is it in the whole strand, but on the other hand, the normal finding during the examination of complex movements eliminates an affection of structures of the shoulder girdle.
Indolent complex movements with a normal extension of the movement, and without any hint of weakness of the movement, which are made with a physiological harmony, eliminate pathology of the whole shoulder girdle. At affections rising out of cervical spine and at pseudoradicular syndrome with transferred pain out of thoracal or intra-abdominal organs the complex movements of the shoulder girdle do not call up pains.
It is necessary to direct one's attention to a big ability of substitution of a damaged function of an articular or muscular component in the area of the shoulder girdle by involving in of the remaining parts. At pathological states of the glenohumeral articulation, f.e. the full extension of complex movements of the shoulder girdle is made possible by synkinesis of the scapula. Therefore it does not suffice to watch only a big restriction of the extension of the shoulder girdle. Because most of inflammatory affections affect structures surrounding the glenohumeral articulation, it is necessary to examine the extensions of isolated movements in the glenohumeral articulation at these affections, and not only the extensions of complex movements which are not able to describe the largeness of the affection, and closely specify the position of the disorder.