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Rotator Cuff Muscle Teres Minor: Upper Arm Pain, Numbness and Tingling In Fingers

(Last Updated On: August 9, 2018)

Pain in the back of the upper arm and numbness and tingling in the hand going into the fourth and fifth fingers can indicate teres minor dysfunction

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the teres minor muscle?

  • Pain toward the back of the upper arm
  • Numbness or tingling without pain or aches in the fourth and fifth fingers (not shown)

Where is the teres minor muscle?

The teres minor lies toward the bottom of the shoulder blade (scapula) and connects the shoulder blade to the upper arm (humerus).  It is one of the four rotator cuff muscles.

What movements does the teres minor muscle control?

  • Twists arm away from the body
  • Helps to raise the arm to the side

Activities that cause teres minor pain and symptoms:

  • Bringing the arm back with force
    • Pitching a baseball
    • Rowing, Kayaking
    • Swinging a sledgehammer
  • Holding arms above head for extended periods
  • Holding arms out in front of the body for extended periods of time
  • Bracing your arms either in front of the body to avoid a fall or overhead impact (something falling from above)


Teres Minor Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

You use the teres minor muscle to twist your arm away from your body and to lower your arm.

Interesting facts about the teres minor muscle:

  • The teres minor sometimes fuses with the infraspinatus muscle.

Clinical diagnoses to which teres minor symptoms may contribute:

  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Subdeltoid bursitis
  • Dislocation of  glenohumeral joint
  • Shoulder pointer
  • Post  injection soreness

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

Satellite trigger points associated with the teres minor muscle:

  • Deltoid
  • Teres Major
  • Infraspinatus

For detailed anatomy information:  Teres Minor Anatomy

Help with Teres Minor and Rotator Cuff Muscle Pain and Symptoms

Cold Gel Therapy for Teres Minor 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. To treat the teres minor muscle, rub Biofreeze around the shoulder, concentrating on the area around the shoulder blade over to the arm pit. Biofreeze should be kept on hand for those who stress shoulder and rotator cuff muscles with job or hobby related activities.

Ice Wrap For Shoulder Injury, 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 Teres Minor Muscle 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. For shoulder pain and pain caused by the teres minor, rub Sombra all around the shoulder concentratine on the area around the shoulder blade over to the arm pit. Sombra can be applied several times a day for continuous pain relief.

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 Teres Minor 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 rotator cuff muscles detailed in the book.

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