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Teres Minor Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action

Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation of the Teres Minor Muscle

Rotator Cuff Muscle Teres Minor
Origin: On the dorsal surface of the middle half of the lateral border of the scapula Insertion: The lowest of the three facets of the greater tubercle of the humerus Action: Externally rotates the arm Innervation: Axillary nerve (C5,6)
Blood Supply: Scapular circumflex artery

Synergist: Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, Deltoid (posterior fibers)

Antagonist: Subscapularis, Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid

For Pain and Symptom Information See: Teres Minor: Upper Arm Pain, Numbness and Tingling In Fingers

Primary Actions of the Teres Minor Muscle:

1. External rotation of the arm at the shoulder

  • Agonists: Infraspinatus, Deltoid (posterior fibers)
  • Antagonists: Deltoid (anterior fibers), Subscapularis, Pectoralis Major, Teres Major, Latissimus Dorsi

Secondary Actions of the Teres Minor:

1. Assists with adduction of the arm at the shoulder

  • Agonists: Latissimus Dorsi, Pectoralis Major, Teres Major,
  • Antagonists: Deltoid (middle fibers) Supraspinatus

2. Assists with depression of the humeral head

  • Agonists: Infraspinatus, Subscapularis


Recommended Anatomy Books


Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.


Trail Guide To The Body


The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the lay person who wants to gain understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!




The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice – Susan Salvo

Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark Beck

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