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Definition of «Supraspinatus muscle»

Supraspinatus muscle: A muscle that is responsible for elevating the arm and moving it away from the body.

The tendon of the supraspinatus muscle is one of four tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint and constitute the rotator cuff.

Each of the four tendons of the rotator cuff hooks up to a muscle that the shoulder in a specific direction. The four muscles whose tendons form the rotator cuff are:

  • The supraspinatus muscle;
  • The subscapularis muscle, which moves the arm by turning it inward (internal rotation);
  • The infraspinatus muscle, which assists the lifting of the arm during turning the arm outward (external rotation);
  • The teres minor muscle, which also helps in the outward turning (external rotation) of the arm.

Damage to the rotator cuff is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain.

The term "supraspinatus" means "above the spine". The supraspinatus muscle originates above the "spine" of the scapula (the wingbone).

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