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Rotator Cuff Supraspinatus Muscle: Shoulder, Arm, Pain, Frozen Shoulder

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The supraspinatus muscle contributes to frozen shoulder, arm and elbow pain.

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the supraspinatus muscle?

  • Deep ache over the outside of the shoulder area which continues during rest
  • Pain down the outside of the arm, occasionally extending down into the wrist
  • Can cause clicking or popping in the shoulder joint
  • Concentrated pain toward the outside of the elbow
  • Pain when lifting the arm overhead
  • Difficulty and shoulder pain while shaving the face or combing hair

Where is the supraspinatus muscle?

The supraspinatus lies at the top of the back of the shoulder. It connects the shoulder blade (scapula) to the upper arm bone (humerus). It is one of the four rotator cuff muscles.

What movements does the supraspinatus muscle control?

  • Raises the arm out to the side of the body
  • Assists in stabilizing the shoulder joint

Activities that cause supraspinatus muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Carrying heavy objects with the arm hanging down ie. suitcase, a bucket of paint, etc.
  • Working with arms outstretched in front of the body and /or overhead (painting, working at the computer, driving for long periods)
  • Tennis
  • Golf

Interesting facts about the supraspinatus:

  • A tight supraspinatus along with trigger points in the muscle can cause clicking of the shoulder. This is often diagnosed as bursitis of the shoulder.
  • The supraspinatus is one of the four rotator cuff muscles.
Supraspinatus Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

You use the supraspinatus muscle to raise your arm over your head.

Clinical diagnoses to which the supraspinatus muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Subdeltoid bursitis
  • Bicipital tendinitis
  • Dislocation of the glenohumeral joint
  • Cervical arthritis or spurs
  • Supraspinatus tendinitis
  • Shoulder pointer
  • Shoulder Sprain / Strain injury

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the Supraspinatus:

Satellite trigger points associated with the supraspinatus muscle:

  • Infraspinatus
  • Middle deltoid
  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus Dorsi

For detailed anatomy information:  
Supraspinatus Muscle Anatomy

Help with Supraspinatus and Rotator Cuff Muscle Pain and Symptoms

Cold Gel Therapy for Shoulder Rotator Cuff Injury and Pain

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel that I use on clients who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries. Biofreeze Cold Therapy gel works like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. Biofreeze should be kept on hand for those who stress shoulder and rotator cuff muscles with job or hobby related activities. To treat supraspinatus muscle pain, rub Biofreeze into the front and back of the shoulder, up the neck to the base of the skull, and down the outside (thumb side) of the arm to the wrist.

Ice Wrap For Shoulder Injury, Supraspinatus Rotator Cuff Muscles

The Pro-Ice Shoulder and Elbow Cold Therapy Wrap is great for shoulder injuries involving the rotator cuff muscles. The wrap not only provides cold therapy for the shoulder, but it also extends down the arm providing relieve for upper arm and elbow pain. This  should be in the freezer of every ball player for quick treatment of  overuse injuries and preventative maintenance.

Warm Gel Therapy For Supraspinatus Muscle Shoulder Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a warming gel that I use every day not only on myself but also on clients. It provides warmth without burning and is better at relieving pain than other over the counter pain creams. For arthritic or chronic shoulder pain Sombra can be applied several times a day for continuous pain relief. To relieve supraspinatus muscle pain, rub Sombra around the shoulder front and back, going up the neck to the base of the skull. If the arm is continues to ache after treatment, rub Sombra into the tight and painful areas of the arm.

Hot and Cold Shoulder Therapy Wrap

Elasto-Gel Hot Cold Wrap works well for those who need a wrap that provides both heat and cold therapy. This is a great wrap for people suffering from shoulder arthritis pain. Heat and cold can both help relieve symptoms of frozen shoulder and rotator cuff muscle pain. The wrap is gel which allows it to mold to the chest, shoulder, and upper arm comfortably.

Available in two sizes: Small Hot Cold Shoulder Wrap and Large / XLarge Hot Cold Shoulder Wrap

Self Treatment for Supraspinatus Muscle and Frozen Shoulder

The Frozen Shoulder Workbook: Trigger Point Therapy for Overcoming Pain and Regaining Range of Motion is a book to consider if you are suffering from frozen shoulder or unresolved shoulder pain. Author Claire Davies bout with frozen shoulder lead him to research trigger point therapy and use the methodology to resolve his pain and regain the range of motion in his shoulder and arm. In his book Davies explains adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) in layman's language and gives step by step self-treatment methods as well as stretching and strengthening exercises. Many people have used the treatment methods to overcome frozen shoulder. For others, it is a tool to help them manage their pain and maintain movement. There are a few individuals for which the methods do not help, however even many of these people recommend the book for a better understanding of the condition and to help formulate questions and discussion with medical professionals.

Easily Treat Hard  To Reach Areas Of The Body

The Theracane Massager is a self-treatment massage tool for use on those hard to reach areas on the neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs. If you are buying the book The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, you will need to consider buying the Theracane to use the treatment methods for the supraspinatus and other rotator cuff muscles detailed in the book.

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