The supraspinatus muscle is one of 4 muscles that make of the rotator cuff muscles. It aids in abducting the arm along with the deltoid and trapezius. The supraspinatus also pulls the humerus into the shoulder aiding in stabilizing the shoulder joint. It is responsible for preventing the shoulder from displacing downwards and is active throughout the full activity of abduction
Those that work with their arms elevated, like hairstylists, are susceptible to supraspinatus tendonitis. The supraspinatus may also be aggravated by carrying heavy bags/objects or walking a dog that keeps pulling on the arm. In athletes we may see aggravation of this muscle with farmer carries and over head squats.
When this muscle is a problem it can refer pain to the deltoid or on the outside of the elbow.
To locate the muscle place your opposite hand over your shoulder and feel for a bony ridge. That bone ridge is the scapular spine. Place your fingers just above the spine. Deep to the trapezius, the supraspinatus is found there.
To attempt to release the supraspinatus muscle find a tender spot in the muscle. Pin the muscle down with your fingers, mobo system, theracane or ball and reach behind your back and across to the other side. Using a door jamb or door handle pull the arm further across to the other side.
*** 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 or contact Dr Notley if you are in Winnipeg.