Infraspinatus is a triangular muscle which makes up the infraspinatous fossa. The main function of the infraspinatus muscle is to stabilize the shoulder joint while also helping in rotating the arm. This muscle is attached to the infraspinous fossa medially and to the facet of humerus’ greater tubercle laterally. It is separated from teres minor and teres major by infraspinatus fascia, which also covers this muscle.


Infraspinatus muscle assists in rotating the arm as well as stabilizes the shoulder joint. It helps the shoulder in its lateral rotation and forms the key rotator of the shoulder. With teres minor, the muscles are responsible for humerus’ head’s outward rotation and also extension of the glenohumeral joint.


There is a risk of getting the shoulder injured during the flexion activities or when the person is throwing, especially when the elbow travels at the back of the shoulder. The risk is further increased when shoulder girdle is drawn out. Front of the shoulder bears the referral pain even though the infraspinatus is placed on the back. The pain occurs on the outer part of the shoulder and goes up to the upper arm. In many cases, the infraspinatus muscles experience frozen shoulder which causes stiffness and weakness in the shoulder – adhesion tissues and scar cause this.


Muscle Injury

Muscle injuries in infraspinatus muscles occur due to habits. Straining or overloading the shoulder and outward rotation of an arm, especially working on the computer without elbow support leads to infraspinatus muscle injury. Overstressing the shoulder, keeping the arms constantly in the front or overhead and driving with hands on the steering wheel can also injure the shoulder.

Symptoms of Infraspinatus Tear

Symptoms of the tear include pain in the front of the shoulder. The biceps, shoulder blade, neck and side of the shoulders hurt if there is an infraspinatus tear. Other than that, the mobility in the shoulder gets restricted and it gets difficult to lie on the shoulder to even reach the back. In addition to that, people with a tear experience weak shoulder – one side gets tired out compared to the other and the arm also hurts as the muscles are all imbalanced.

Prevention of Infraspinatus Injury

Simply by changing the exercising and sitting habits, one can avoid injuries to the infraspinatus muscles. The preventive measures aren’t very hard to acknowledge, you can start with sitting in the right posture. You should definitely try not to overstress one hand and balance the work between the two. Drinking water helps too; get a chair with elbow support and relax your shoulders to keep them away from injuries.


Infraspinatus is a part of four muscles of the rotator cuff which means the others have to compensate if the infraspinatus muscles go weak. Besides, if the shoulder is not treated in time, it could lead to a condition called frozen shoulder. The good thing is that treating these injuries is not really complex – all you need to do is change your sitting and exercising habits. Posture is very important; the first thing you would need to fix is your posture. Incorporating a few exercises in your lifestyle can help you treat the injuries to your infraspinatus muscles. Remedy on the trigger point, knots that are formed when muscles are over-stimulated, can elevate the pain. These knots cause stiffening of muscles and could be removed by massages.


Undoubtedly, infraspinatus muscle is very weak and could get injured very easily. Exercises like side lying abduction and incline lever row can strengthen this muscle and relieve any pain overstressing may be causing to your shoulder. These are effective and important for the wellbeing of the muscle. In order to limit the damage to this weak muscle, one should enforce exercises on a regular basis.

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