The teres minor muscle is basically a tiny skinny muscle that attached to your shoulder blade. Unless you know human anatomy very well, you don’t even notice this muscle exists there. But this tiny muscles plays a significant role in the shoulder motions and it’s a very important muscle that pain relief massage therapists have to pay attention to.
When you suffer from a constant shoulder ache due to regular physical hard work, you tend to do self-massaging the muscles above your shoulder blade. But often the aching problem simply comes from this tiny skinny muscle that’s hiding on your shoulder blade.
How do you know this muscle is the culprit? Learn human anatomy, palpate the muscle and poke it! Then see how you feel. If it’s too hard to do it yourself, you can always visit Pain Relief Massage Clinic on the Gold Coast and see the professional.
The teres minor is one of the rotator cuff muscles. It has a narrow elongated shape and is a key in the way we move our arms and upper body. The teres minor muscle attaches medially to the upper dorsal surface of the scapula near its axillary border and to the aponeuroses that separate this muscle from the infraspinatus muscle and teres major muscle. It attaches laterally to the low impression on the greater tubercle of the humerus bone.
The fibers of the teres minor have an oblique and upward laterally direction with the upper fibers ending in a tendon which is inserted in one of the lowest of the impressions on the greater tubercle of the humerus. The lower fibers of the muscle are inserted into the humerus, just below the above mentioned impressions.
The tendon of the teres minor is united with the posterior part of the capsule of the shoulder joint. When it comes to innervation, the teres minor muscle is innervated by a posterior branch of the axillary nerve at the point where a pseudoganglion is present. The pseudoganglion has no nerve cells, however it has nerve fibers with damage to these fibers being quite painful and complex to treat. Sometimes, the teres minor muscle’s fibers can be fused with the infraspinatus although it is very rare.
The teres minor, along with the infraspinatus, is part of the rotator cuff as they are both attached to the head of the humerus. One of their main roles is to keep the humeral head in the glenoid cavity of the scapula. Other roles include the lateral rotation of the humerus (with the help of the posterior deltoid) as well as other complex movements like transverse abduction, transverse extension and simple extension.
The teres minor muscle can sustain injuries in numerous ways, from atrophy to injury derived from exercising. Problems of this muscle are often times compared to bursitis in the shoulder. As the teres minor forms the rotator cuff along with the infraspinatus, supraspinatus and subscapularis, people who have experienced problems with the above mentioned muscle groups can also have problems with the teres minor.
The most common group of people who experience teres minor muscle problems (although not exclusively) are players of hand based sports (basketball, handball, volleyball, baseball etc.), swimmers and rock climbers.
Pain from the teres minor muscle is often times felt quite intensely in the shoulder, similarly to bursitis. It can also cause tingling in some fingers. When trigger points develop in this muscle, they can cause pain right at the spot where they have appeared or radiate said pain to other parts of the body. A teres minor muscle with trigger points will mostly show signs of pain on the side of the shoulder. Pain can also be felt on the backside part of the arm when the teres minor is injured or under stress.
When it comes to the causes of pain and over-solicitation of the teres minor, most specialists will agree that they are mostly the same as the ones that cause pain in the infraspinatus muscle. In fact, the teres minor is rarely injured or afflicted alone, more often being hurt along with other muscles of the shoulder which have a similar function.
One of the most often met ways of injuring the teres minor muscle is by throwing objects, particularly in the case of athletes. This is mostly due to the repetitive motion of extending and rotating the arm outward. Tears can also occur due to falling on the outstretched hand or while making repetitive sudden thrusts. These tears often take a long time to become chronic and mostly occur near the tendon due to it rubbing against the bone.
When pain or trigger points are present in the teres minor, certain movements can be affected. These movements are often times the same movements affected when infraspinatus pain or injury occurs. The most often met types of movements that are affected by this muscle’s injury are the ones where you rotate your shoulder outwards or where you reach backwards.
Atrophy is also a problem that can affect the teres minor muscle. It is often derived from more serious injury to the rotator cuff but it can also affect the muscle on its own.
People who experience problems with the teres minor muscle will most often complain of shoulder pain, particularly posterior shoulder pain and will rarely associate this problem with restricted motion.
Differentiating between an infraspinatus injury and a teres minor injury can sometimes be quite difficult, particularly as the latter is smaller and weaker. As both muscles basically have the same function, identifying any injury can be hard but not impossible.
One easy albeit painful way of identifying a teres minor injury is by doing a handstand. As balancing requires all parts of the shoulder the teres minor will also be involved. If balancing from side to side appears to be particularly painful or hard, then it is possible that the teres minor muscle may have some sort of injury or related problems.
Pain relief massage therapists and some but not all so-called remedial massage therapists, sports massage therapists and deep tissue massage therapists on the Gold Coast have good anatomy knowledge to find out what’s wrong and relieve your ache and pain.
If you are interested in knowing what’s happening with your teres minor muscles and seeing a pain relief massage therapists or Gold Coast remedial massage therapist, click and visit www.remedialmassage-goldcoast.com.au and see what’s in it for you.
Pain Relief Massage Clinic
192 Brisbane Road, Arundel Gold Coast QLD 4214 Australia
Phone: (07) 5537 7886