The Infraspinatus muscle is a common pain troublemaker in athletes, musicians and desk criminals.
It is one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff.
If you are working a lot in a bend over position, do lots of desk work or with your arm extended over your head, you are prone to develop a troubling infraspinatus.
People that often suffer are painters, rock climbers and desk workers.
Also, musicians that have to play their instrument with their arms or shoulders elevated, often develop trigger points in this muscle.
At the end of this page you will find videos with myofascial self-release techniques for this muscle!
If trigger points are present in your infraspinatus muscle, they can give you pain right at their location and send pain to other, seemingly unrelated areas of your body.
The upper three trigger points – X1 – X3, shown under “Attachment Points” – mainly send pain to your upper neck and your shoulder.
Moreover, pain may radiate down the area of your biceps and into your inner elbow.
Additionally, the back of your forearm and hand may be painful too.
But pain can also be sent to your inner forearm and palm – not shown in the pictures -.
The forth trigger point – X4 – sends pain to the outer and inner side of your shoulder blade and often is experienced as a burning pain.
This muscle can be involved in…
The intensity of the colour indicates how common pain in the respective areas is experienced.
The darker the colour, the more common it is that you might feel pain there if trigger points are present in your infraspinatus muscle.
Movements that can be impaired and painful include but are not limited to all movements where you lift your arm or have to rotate your shoulder.
For example, fastening your seatbelt: The following accounts for the situation where the seatbelt is to your left. Fastening the seatbelt may be painful because you either shorten or stretch the stressed infraspinatus.
If you grab the seatbelt with your left arm you have to rotate your shoulder and move your arm behind you, which stresses the muscle – outward rotation –.
Reaching with you other arm – the right one – over to your left to grab the belt, you do an inward rotation with your right shoulder and thus elongating the infraspinatus – because that is the opposite movement of an outward rotation –.
For a tender muscle this can be already too much. Thus, it may give you pain to stop you from doing this movement.
Other actions that activate the muscle in a very similar way and thus may be impaired are…