Infraspinatus Muscle

Dealing with 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.

Our Purpose:
We want you to understand that many muscular aches and pains can be caused by overly tight muscle. Overly tight muscle can create significant pain.
The good thing is:
You can take control of it.
You can reduce the muscle tightness and muscle pain before it becomes a serious problem.

This is Brian and Christina Hagan of  YourHealthySteps, The creator of Ultimate Foam Roller Blueprint. This is for educational purposes only. We are giving you fifteen years of experience as Neuromuscular Massage Therapist.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:
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.

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