This muscle is a triangle shape muscle that sits on top of your shoulder blade and inserts on the top of the arm. Infraspinatus externally rotates the shoulder joint. Helps with shoulder extension and stabilisation. It is apart of the rotator cuff muscle and is prone to tendinitis.
What is the weakness of infraspinatus?
Working at a desk or in a bent over position or arms over your head can develop infraspinatus tendinosis. It can start with impaired movement such as not being able to reach back to pull on your seatbelt. Or even putting your arm behind you to put on your coat.
Sports can also irritate this muscle, rock climbing, handball, rowing, softball, some yoga poses (down and upward dog) and throwing balls.
Ever wonder why frozen shoulder takes longer to heal? It is because so many muscles are involved, the infraspinatus experiences this. Frozen shoulder is a condition that results in stiffness and weakness of the shoulder, adhesions and scar tissue that are located in the shoulder joint is a main cause.
What are the symptoms of a tear or injury?
As in the picture pain in the red shaded areas indicate infraspinatus injury. The pain travels to the biceps and feeling like it is in the shoulder, neck and the shoulder blade.
If the muscle has deteriorated than you would have limited movement in reaching backwards or sleeping on the shoulder.
If the shoulder is just stiff or weak in comparison to the opposite side you would experience weakness and numbness
How to release your infraspinatus at home?
Posture is very important to the infraspinatus especially when sitting and exercising. When working try doing doorway chest stretch during your day.
You can release with a trigger ball. Place ball just below the top ridge of the shoulder blade (it will be tender) and roll against the wall.
Exercises to help strengthen the muscle
Incline lever row, this is a gym machine exercise. You would lie face down on the machine (see picture) Keep knees slightly bend, chest on the padding feet on the footrests. Reach down grab the handles and pull it to the sides, with your elbows behind you, always keep your neck is straight and not forward.
At home exercise Side - lying abduction, as in the picture to left,
lie on your right side, with your left hand holding the weight, it should be facing you. You than rotate the left arm to an 45 degree angle, whilst keeping the elbow touching your body. Than rotate and place the weight back on the ground. The weights will depend on the individual, start small and increase. This is a great exercise to strengthen all the rotator cuff muscles and can be performed to prevent injury.
As always if pain persists do not hesitate to give us a call at the office on
(02) 5310 6259 or book online at:
Until then keep moving.