Subscapularis Massage

Subscapularis Massage

Subscapularis is part of the rotator cuff group and the actions include medial (internal) rotation of the humerus. When the arm is abducted then it stabilizes the humerus forward and down. The origin of the muscle is the subscapular fossa and it inserts at the lesser tubercle of the humerus.

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Trigger Points –

Injuries to the subscapularis can include tears and tendinitis. In fact then subscapularis tendon is probably the structure most frequently injured in the shoulder complex.

If you are assessing a shoulder with restricted abduction capability, it is important to assess whether the restriction is because the scapula is unable to move freely on the rib cage or whether the humerus cannot properly articulate in the glenohumeral joint. This can be assessed by prevent movement of the scapula when the client abducts their humerus. When the subscapularis is implicated then it can limit glenohumeral movements like abduction and external rotation. Scapular movements on the rib cage are not restricted.

Massaging subscapularis
Supine and abduct scapula with non-treating hand. Place fingertips in the belly of the subscap.

Active Release Technique- Subscapularis Muscle

1.00 Slacken subscap with client supine with adduction/internal rotation. Find points of restriction and abduct/external rotation of arm

Subscapularis (rotator cuff, deep tissue)

Is supraspinatus the victim of tightness in other muscles (ie subscapularis) with impingement issues?
3.20 self palpation of subscapular
5.30 Prone – medial palpation of subscapularis but working through rhombs etc but only can access medial border so not really that effective except in occasional cases.
6.30 Prone – palpate lateral border of subscapularis with thumbs. Be aware of vascular/lymphatic/nervous structures.
8.00 Prone – push scapula inferiorally and work with fingertip + mobilise scapula
9.15 Supine – arm in abduction and press into subscap with fingertips. Get client to medially rotate to make sure you are on subscap. Get client to hold arm so you can use other arm to hold shoulder.

Stretching Subscapularis
Active Release Technique- Subscapularis Muscle

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