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What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is actually a group of multiple muscles that primarily work together to stabilize the shoulder. They hold the head of the humerus (your arm bone) into the glenoid fossa of the scapula (shoulder socket). The four muscles that make up the rotator cuff are the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus, and teres minor.

This answer provided for NATA by the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Training Education Program.

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles and their tendons that originate from scapula and form a cuff over the upper end of the arm (head of humerus) - your shoulder joint. The cuff helps lift and rotate the arm, and stabilize the humerus within the shoulder joint, and it's vulnerable to tears after a fall, or after repetitive overhead arm activities. You can prevent the injury by strengthening the area. And never lift weights without seeing your hands.

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The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that give the shoulder power and stability. There are four muscles there, but the one that gets all of the attention is the supraspinatus. It’s in charge of giving a person the ability to raise the arm over the head as well as to carry things and keep things over the shoulder.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.