Muscle Review: Rotator Cuff

rotator cuff

The Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround and help to stabilize the shoulder joint, they are:

• Supraspinatus - abducts the humerus

• Infraspinatus - externally rotates the humerus

• Teres Minor - externally rotates the humerus

• Subscapularis - internally rotates the humerus

Conditions Specific to The Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff Injury - Characterized by pain in back and side of the shoulder. In addition to the usual suspects, mechanical irritation of cutaneous nerves may account for symptoms. These areas correspond to the locations of the suprascapular and axillary nerve.

Frozen ShoulderThe theory of recovery phases or complete resolution without treatment for frozen shoulder is unfounded. In most cases patients benefit from early diagnosis and proper treatment.

Subacromial Impingement - When tendons of the rotator cuff become irritated as they pass through the subacromial space.

Jeremy Lewis talks about rotator cuff shoulder pain, including issues relating to the shoulder special tests, medical imaging and research that reports that, for most people, exercise is as effective as surgery.

More to Explore

Chafik, D., Galatz, L.M., ... Yamaguchi, K. (2013). Teres minor muscle and related anatomy. J Shoulder Elbow Surg.

Fabrizio, P.A., Clemente, F.R. (2014). Anatomical structure and nerve branching pattern of the human infraspinatus muscle. J Bodyw Mov Ther.

Hawk, C., Minkalis, A.L., ... Bhalerao, S. (2017). Systematic Review of Nondrug, Nonsurgical Treatment of Shoulder Conditions. J Manipulative Physiol Ther.

Kostretzis, L., Theodoroudis, I., ... Papadopoulos, P. (2017). Suprascapular Nerve Pathology: A Review of the Literature. Open Orthop J. (OPEN ACCESS)

Moccia, D., Nackashi, A.A., Schilling, R., Ward, P.J. (2016). Fascial bundles of the infraspinatus fascia: anatomy, function, and clinical considerations. J Anat. (OPEN ACCESS) 

Wong, C.K., Levine, W.N., ... Strang, B.L. (2017). Natural history of frozen shoulder: fact or fiction? A systematic review. Physiotherapy.