Supraspinatus

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Other Names

  • Rotatory Cuff
  • Shoulder

Heads

  • Supraspinatus

Movement

Shoulder

Attachments

Origin

  • Scapula (Superior)
    • Supraspinous fossa

Insertion

  • Humerus
    • Greater Tubercle (Superior)

Related Muscles

See other rotator cuff muscles:

Supraspinatus

Comments

Due to decreasing moment arm with abduction, supraspinatus is a more effective shoulder abductor in scapular plane at lower abduction angles in contrast to anterior deltoid and lateral deltoid which are more effective shoulder abductors at higher abduction angles (Otis JC et al, 1994).

In scapular plane, supraspinatus generates greatest abduction torque with shoulder in neutral rotation or only within slight interal or external rotation. (Liu J et al 1997; Otis JC et al, 1994).

*Supraspinatus assists in external rotation when shoulder is abducted and internal rotation when shoulder is flexed (Ackland DC & Pandy MG, 2011).

Supraspinatus is most often injured rotator cuff muscle. The inability to smoothly abduct arm against resistance may indicate rotator cuff injury. See supraspinatus weakness.

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