What is a Subscapularis Muscle

The subscapularis muscle is a large muscle located in the shoulder region. It is one of the four muscles that make up the rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the upper arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). The subscapularis muscle is situated beneath the scapula, and it originates from the front of the scapula and inserts into the front of the humerus.

The primary function of the subscapularis muscle is to internally rotate the arm at the shoulder joint. This means that when the muscle contracts, it brings the arm inward toward the body. The subscapularis muscle also helps to stabilize the shoulder joint and provide support for the arm during certain movements.

Injury or damage to the subscapularis muscle can result in pain and difficulty with arm movement, and it is often treated with physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the muscle.

Function of the Subscapularis Muscle

The primary function of the subscapularis muscle is to internally rotate the arm at the shoulder joint. This means that when the muscle contracts, it brings the arm inward toward the body.

The subscapularis muscle also plays a role in stabilizing the shoulder joint and providing support for the arm during certain movements. It works in conjunction with the other muscles of the rotator cuff, including the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor, to provide a strong and stable base for the arm to move on.

In addition to its role in arm movement, the subscapularis muscle also helps to maintain the proper alignment of the shoulder blade on the rib cage. It does this by pulling the scapula downward and inward, which helps to keep it in a proper position.

Overall, the function of the subscapularis muscle is important for maintaining the stability and mobility of the shoulder joint, as well as the proper alignment of the shoulder blade.

Common Issues with a Subscapularis Muscle

There are several common issues that can affect the subscapularis muscle, including:

  1. Strains and tears: The subscapularis muscle can be strained or torn due to overuse, sudden trauma, or degeneration from age or wear and tear. This can cause pain, weakness, and difficulty moving the arm.
  2. Tendinitis: Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon, and it can affect the tendons that attach the subscapularis muscle to the humerus. This can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the arm.
  3. Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, which are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion and lubricate the joints. The subscapularis muscle has a bursa located between it and the rib cage, and this bursa can become inflamed, leading to pain and difficulty moving the arm.
  4. Impingement syndrome: Impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons or bursae of the rotator cuff muscles become pinched or compressed against the shoulder blade as the arm is raised. This can cause pain and difficulty moving the arm.

If you are experiencing any issues with your subscapularis muscle or other muscles of the rotator cuff, it is important to see a healthcare provider for an evaluation and proper treatment. Treatment may include rest, physical therapy, exercises to strengthen the muscles, and in some cases, surgery.

How to stretch your Subscapularis Muscle

There are several stretches that can help to stretch and lengthen the subscapularis muscle. Here are a few examples:

  1. Doorway stretch: Stand in a doorway with your arms at your sides and your hands resting on the door frame at about shoulder height. Step forward with one foot, and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch in your shoulders. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, and then switch sides.
  2. Cross-body stretch: Stand with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart. Cross your right arm across your body, and use your left hand to gently push your right elbow toward the opposite shoulder. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, and then switch sides.
  3. Chest stretch: Stand with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart. Clasp your hands behind your back, and lift your arms up and away from your body until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.

It is important to stretch slowly and gently, and never force your body into a position that feels uncomfortable or painful. If you experience any pain or discomfort while stretching, stop immediately and consult a healthcare provider.

How to Rehab your Subscapularis Muscle

Rehabilitation of the subscapularis muscle may involve a combination of rest, stretching, and strengthening exercises. Here are a few steps you can take to rehab your subscapularis muscle:

  1. Rest: If you have a strained or torn subscapularis muscle, it is important to allow the muscle time to heal. This may involve taking a break from activities that place stress on the muscle, such as lifting heavy objects or participating in sports.
  2. Stretching: Stretching the subscapularis muscle can help to improve its flexibility and range of motion. Be sure to stretch slowly and gently, and never force your body into a position that feels uncomfortable or painful.
  3. Strengthening exercises: Once your muscle has healed and you have regained a good range of motion, you can begin to strengthen the muscle with targeted exercises. Some examples of exercises that can help to strengthen the subscapularis muscle include internal rotation exercises, such as band pull-aparts and dumbbell internal rotations, and scapular stabilization exercises, such as wall slides and scapular push-ups.

It is important to consult with a healthcare provider or physical therapist before beginning any rehabilitation program for a muscle injury. They can help you develop a safe and effective plan that is tailored to your specific needs.

Share This!, Choose Your Platform!

About Athlete’s Choice Massage

Athlete’s Choice Massage was created to provide consistently excellent rehabilitative services for health-conscious people. Our team is extremely well-trained and they take pride in their work. They are constantly striving to learn and better themselves in their respective fields so that they can help you recover and aid in the maintenance of your well-being.

Extensive thought has been put into making our studios modern, comfortable, and convenient for you. We are not a spa. You will not hear trickling water or pan flutes. We will never try to up-sell you on services or push retail on you. Our goal is to simply provide the best therapeutic services you can find in this city. I hope that you will enjoy your experience and come back again soon.

All appointments will begin with a short but in-depth one-on-one assessment. This is your opportunity to point out what area you’d like to work on during your time, as well as identify any special requests or concerns you may have. Should you have more than one area of concern, your therapist will prioritize the chief complaint and create a treatment plan for the time allotted and for follow-ups as needed.

Please note our 24 Hour Cancelation Policy.

With massage therapy being covered by many people’s extended health care benefits, it is now easier than ever to experience the positive effects of therapeutic massage.

We are open 7 days a week from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm at the following locations

South Edmonton | Downtown Edmonton| West EdmontonSherwood Park