The four rotator cuff muscles act to stabilize and rotate the shoulder joint and can be susceptible to tendinopathy and tears. Of the four muscles, supraspinatus is most commonly injured and will most typically produce pain at the lateral shoulder that can refer down the lateral arm.
Pain in this region is most commonly referred to as ‘shoulder impingement’ or ‘subacromial pain syndrome’ and is often thought to involve structures that lie in the subacromial space including the tendon of supraspinatus, the biceps brachii long head tendon and the subacromial bursa.
If you have pain at the lateral aspect of the shoulder when lifting or reaching overhead, you may be experiencing subacromial pain syndrome. The good news is that progressively loading these muscles and tendons helps to reduce pain and improve function.
If you need more information on exercises for rotator cuff problems, be sure to checkout our rotator cuff pain program. In many cases, a simple home exercise program can be quite effective in terms of reducing pain and improving overall function.