About the infraspinatus
The infraspinatus muscle is one of 4 muscles that make of the rotator cuff muscles.
The infraspinatus muscle helps with external rotation of the shoulder (turning the front of the arm out to the side), horizontal abduction (moving the arm away from the body when the arm is out in front of you), and stabilizing the shoulder joint.
The muscle can be aggravated by catching yourself falling down the stairs by grabbing onto the bannister. Hard services in tennis, pitching a baseball, or during the follow through in a golf swing can also aggravate this muscle. Those that work with their arms out in front of them like musicians (violinist) and office workers are prone to irritating this muscle.
If this muscle is a problem you may experience discomfort with putting your hand behind your back and discomfort when brushing your hair or teeth.
Depending on where you touch on the muscle it may refer to the deltoid, the front of the shoulder (along the lines of the biceps) and between the shoulder blade.
Locating the infraspinatus
To locate the muscle find the spine of the scapula; that bony ridge on the shoulder blade. Place your fingers just below the spine. Most of the musculature below the spine of the scapula is the infraspinatus. (please refer to the video)
How to release the infraspinatus
Take a ball and pin the tender spot down. This can be accomplished by laying down on the ball or placing the ball between you and the wall. Reach across your body. Hold for 10 to 60 seconds.
*** Disclaimer *** This video is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. If you are in pain, please visit your local health care provider. If you are in Winnipeg go to the contact section to book an appointment with Dr Notley.