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Infraspinatus – Functional Anatomy

The anatomy of the infraspinatus is a bit more complicated than typically explained. A more detailed understanding is helpful for effective neuromuscular massage. The trigger point locations, which produce different patterns, are in different bellies.

Overview of Anatomy


The infraspinatus is a flat rotator cuff muscle located in the infraspinous fossa of the scapula.


  • infraspinous fossa


  • posterior greater tubercle of the humerus


  • stabilize the humeral head, externally rotate the humerus


  • C4-C6, Brachial Plexus, Suprascapular nerve
infraspinatus bellies with teres minor

About the anatomy illustrations…

Attachment Details

  • The superior belly originates from the inferior edge of the spine of the scapula and inserts into the tendon of the central belly before it reaches the humerus
  • The central belly originates from the interior surface of the scapula. It thickens as it travels laterally, Eventually, until it forms a thick tendon that wraps around to the anterior greater tubercle.
  • The inferior belly originates from the caudal border of the scapula and inserts with the tendon of the teres minor.

The infraspinous fascia is a complex structure that covers the entire muscle. Anchoring sections of the infraspinatus is one of its many features.

Rotator Cuff Involvement

The infraspinatus is one of the rotator cuff muscles. These muscles stabilize the head of the humerus by strapping it tightly into the socket. The infraspinatus tendon actually wraps around the side and connects to the greater tubercle. This configuration and stabilizes the humerus from becoming anterior displaced.

Wikipedia entry for Infraspinatus

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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