One Minute Anatomy: The Supraspinatus Muscle

The Supraspinatus Muscle: One Minute Anatomy

The supraspinatus muscle is one of the muscles that make up the rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. They keep the head of your upper arm bone firmly within a very shallow socket of your shoulder.

supraspinatus muscle

The tendons of these muscles, due to the need for mobility in the shoulder joint, act as ligaments. This allows the ligaments to be more lax and allow for greater movement.

This doesn’t happen anywhere else in the body. And this is one of the reasons why the shoulder is so susceptible to injury.

The video above is about the supraspinatus muscle, one of four muscles of the rotator cuff. The supraspinatus muscle abducts or pulls the arm away from the body at the shoulder joint.

 It does this in cooperation with the deltoid muscles. After 15 degrees of abduction, the deltoid muscle becomes more effective at abducting the arm, and it takes over the action.

Subacromial bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa between the supraspinatus tendon and the acromion and coracoid processes of the shoulder blade. 

So when a client or student comes in with shoulder pain, I ask if it hurts to put on a shirt or jacket? If they answer yes, I know the supraspinatus muscle is involved.

Subacromial bursitis takes a long time to heal. And, like any other itis, it requires rest and the reduction of the inflammation to free up the joint. 

And this is not an easy process to speed up. 

Subacromial bursitis like frozen shoulder, are similar issues that often relate to poor mechanics. 

In my wife’s case learning to punch incorrectly in kickboxing led to developing this issue over time. Unfortunately, it took her more than a year to heal.

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