Download a printable pdf file of this self-care technique here:
Muscle strain in the infraspinatus or teres minor muscles.
A muscle strain in the infraspinatus will be felt as a very specific pain on the back of the scapula when externally rotating your arm against resistance. You can test for a muscle strain in the infraspinatus or teres minor by trying to externally rotate your arm against resistance and noting whether the pain is specific or more general over a wider area. If the pain is specific you can point to the painful spot with just one finger.
If the pain is specific it is likely from a muscle strain. If the pain is general it may be referred pain from a trigger point. Trigger points are treated with static pressure, whereas muscle strains should be treated with multidirectional friction and eccentric contraction.
Multidirectional friction should be done for only 20 – 30 seconds and must be pain-free.
Any exercise in the beginning stages should involve only eccentric muscle contraction.
All treatment should be pain-free.
Self-care involves doing multidirectional friction followed by eccentric muscle contraction.
Multidirectional friction is done with the muscle in a relaxed position (arm externally rotated). The friction should be done for 20 – 30 seconds and needs to be pain-free.
Eccentric muscle contraction is a lengthening of the muscle against gravity. It will help strengthen the muscle and build scar tissue that is aligned with the muscle fibers.
Find the area of pain and do 20 -30 seconds of mutidirectional friction to the spot with the muscle in a relaxed position (arm externally rotated).
Lie on your side on your unaffected shoulder. Have the weight resting on your thigh, then bring it up toward the ceiling by using your biceps. Lower the weight slowly toward the floor by letting your arm slowly rotate internally. Use your triceps to extend your elbow, bringing the weight back up to resting on your thigh.
Choose a weight that you can do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, and that you start to feel stress in the last set. If you feel stress from the exercise before the last set you need to decrease the weight. If you don’t feel stress you can increase the weight.