Discovering Self Massage
I first became aware of the infraspinatus and the teres minor a few years ago when I started experiencing a lot of pain in those particular muscles. They are part of the rotator cuff, with the infraspinatus overlapping the teres minor, and you use them when you rotate your arm out and when you move your arm laterally up and down. The pain I experienced was likely from repetitive motions performed while working in a kitchen and playing the fiddle, but I have found that it is a rather common issue among clients as well. Because I have had to do a lot of self-massage in these areas, the infraspinatus and teres minor are my favorite muscles and I have had a lot of success working with massage clients that have similar problems in these muscles.
When I first started having trouble with these muscles, I discovered self-massage with a tennis ball. You can also use a lacrosse ball or massage balls, however, tennis balls tend to be more affordable and readily available and work just as well. There are three main actions I use with self-massage: massaging by moving the tennis ball, holding the tennis ball in one place and applying pressure, and keeping the tennis ball in one place while adding motion using the the muscles I am massaging. I do this either against a wall or on a yoga mat if I need to add more pressure.
After massaging the muscles that I am working on, I then stretch out the muscles I just massaged. There are three stretches that I have found work best for me. In the video below I demonstrate my methods for self-massage and the stretches that I use after.
Feel free to email me at Cynthia@CynthiasMassageandBodywork.com if you have any questions!