Supraspinatus – Anatomy, Purpose And Injury Prevention

The shoulder consists of several muscles, and the supraspinatus muscle is just one of these muscles. The other tissues in the shoulder are:

  • Subscapularis muscle
  • Teres minor muscle
  • Pectoralis minor muscle
  • Teres major muscle
  • Infraspinatus muscle

All these muscles work together to ensure that the shoulders can perform certain movements and enables it to function optimally in the body.

In this article, we will be discussing with you the supraspinatus muscle. We will focus on the anatomy of this muscle, the functions of the muscle and how to prevent injury to this small but important muscle.

Supraspinatus Muscle: Anatomy

As we have stated earlier, the supraspinatus is a minimal muscle. In fact, it is the smallest of a group of 4 muscles known as the rotator cuff muscles. These muscles are located around the shoulder in the body.

The muscle stretches horizontally to the spine of the scapula. It passes under a bony structure at the top edge of the scapula. This skeletal structure is known as the acromial process.

One end of this muscle is attached to a part of the humerus (the bone in the upper arm) that is called the greater tubercle while the other end of the muscle is also attached to the humerus but this time to a part that is called the lesser tubercle.

Supraspinatus has a nerve called the suprascapular nerve that allows you to feel sensation from the muscle.

Supraspinatus Muscle: Functions

The supraspinatus muscle has essential functions some of which include:

  • Stability of the shoulder– Because it is part of a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff muscles, it helps to resist gravitational forces that naturally act on the shoulder hence ensuring the stability of the shoulder.
  • Active movement– The supraspinatus muscle is very crucial in a particular movement of the shoulder known as abduction. Abduction movement is a type of action that involves moving a part of the body away from the midline of the body.

Supraspinatus Muscle: Signs And Symptoms Of Injury

Here are the signs and symptoms you will notice if your supraspinatus muscle is injured:

  • Pain when lifting your arm
  • Pain while resting your arm
  • Limitation of movements in the shoulder
  • Pain when you lie on the affected shoulder
  • The stiffness of the shoulder
  • Clicking sounds heard in the shoulder

Supraspinatus Muscle Injury: Treatment

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: The Doctor will ask some questions of you about the signs and symptoms we have discussed earlier. Some of these questions include- when the pain started, the duration of the pain, what you have done to manage the pain so far. The Doctor will now physically examine you to confirm the diagnosis running through his mind.
  • Investigation: Most of the time, the Doctor will ask for an X-ray image or an MRI to also confirm the diagnosis.
  • Treatment: The Doctor will place you on drugs to relieve the pain you might be feeling. Depending on the severity of the injury, the Doctor might refer you to a Physical Therapist for rehabilitation or a Surgeon for definitive treatment.

Supraspinatus Muscle Injury: Prevention

Supraspinatus Muscle Injury

Regularly doing exercises such as- The lasso, external rotation and sword can help to prevent injury to the supraspinatus muscle. The best thing you can do with any shoulder injuries is be seen by a healthcare provider. The reason you want professional help is that the shoulder and the soft tissue surrounding it is very complicated. It is one thing to rehab an ankle on your own, but you do not want to do that for a shoulder injury.

9INE POINT Health Will Connect You With The Best Healthcare Providers

9INE POINT Health will link you up with the best healthcare providers that are local to you. Going to see a general family doctor will not cut it for soft tissue injuries. You need to see people who are trained and used to working with athletes that suffer these type of problems on a regular basis. Go to 9INE POINT Health now!

KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.


9INE POINT Health was created by 9INE POINT in '19 as a means to provide athlete-driven resources to "Protect Athletes' Minds, Body and Belly". As well as be a platform for healthcare providers and other specialists to display their knowledge.


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