Infraspinatus Muscle

Intense pain in the front of your shoulder and deep into the shoulder joint.

We’re are going to cover one muscle which can cause this type of pain, some self care tips, and when it may be a good time to see your PT or doctor.

Welcome to Purposeful Foam Rolling Blog:
Our purpose here is to help you understand what is causing your muscles to become tight stiff and sore, and the problems that can develop because of this tightness. We want to give you the knowledge and the tools so that you can take control of your self care.

STORY:
Infraspinatus is a muscle located in the back of your shoulder that cause the same type of intense pain as a Rotator Cuff Tear or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Over the years we have seen this type of shoulder pain and the primary concern is Do I have some type of shoulder injury After a little exploring, many times we find its this muscle Infraspinatus muscle.

Caution:
If you are doing self care or are having someone work on this muscle and the pain stays the same or increases then you should have it looked at by a PT or doctor.

Location:
Infraspinatus is located on the bottom part of your shoulder blade. It attaches at the inside half of the spine of the shoulder blade and along the entire inside edge of the shoulder blade. The muscle comes together and crosses over onto the upper arm. Attaching at the back part of the upper arm.

HOW TO FIND IT:
This may be a hard muscle for some people to reach because its location. Reach one hand behind your back toward the opposite shoulder blade. When you touch the bottom part of the shoulder blade you are basically touching the Infraspinatus. Keep you hand there and bend your arm to 90 degrees at the elbow and then rotate your arm outward and inward. You should feel this muscle move under your fingers. Now take your hand and touch the back part of your upper arm. That is the rough location for this muscle attaching into the upper arm.

Function:
This muscle rotates your arm outward.  It is also one of four muscle that make up the Rotator Cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the head of the upper arm in the shoulder joint.

Symptoms:
A tight Infraspinatus can cause pain in the front of the shoulder or deep in the shoulder joint especially when sleeping. It can create difficulty reaching your back pockets,  or putting arm behind your back. You may also experience difficulty in putting your arm in a jacket or difficulty in brushing your hair or teeth. Any activity that requires full movement of the arm can be impacted by this muscle being tight.

Trigger points:
When muscles get tight they can all develop hyper-irritated  points called Trigger Points. This muscle has three common Trigger Points that can send pain between the spine and the inside edge of the shoulder blade, the upper arm (Deltoids, Biceps, and Triceps), the front and back of the elbow, The front and back of the forearms, and front and back of the hands.

What causes this muscle to be tight:
Poor Posture such as rounded shoulder, head forward, slouching, is a big part of this muscle getting tight. Once this muscle is tight it doesn’t take much to over do it and make it angry. Quick movements like reaching backward, grabbing something when falling, holding a pulling dog on a leash, a tennis swing, or throwing baseball or stick.

Who commonly is tight:
Most everyone in our society can be impacted by this muscle. Especially those who sit or stand in poor posture for long periods. Also any sport that requires powerful movement of the arms, tennis, racquetball, baseball, golf, softball.

Self Care:
Reduce activity
Warm moist towel over the shoulders
Foam ball and foam roller to work all the muscle around and including Infraspinatus.
Gentle stretching:
Caution:
Even gentle stretching can aggravate a tear in a muscle.  If you stretch a muscle and the pain increases have it looked at by your PT or Doctor.

If you would like to take control of your own self care and learn more about our online Foam Rolling Program
“Purposeful Foam Rolling”

Disclaimer: 
Make sure to check with your doctor prior too engaging in this or any exercise activity. If you have any concerns or issues with your neck or the spine of your neck, check with your doctor first before performing these stretches. Stretching should be done to a point where you feel a gentle stretch on the muscle. If you feel pain stop and consult with your doctor. These stretches are for educational purposes only and are not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose.

 

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How Posture Affects Your Muscles
Repetitive Movement Affects Your Muscles
How Scar Tissue Affect Your Muscles