Also commonly mistaken as being called the ‘rotary cup,’ it’s likely that many of you have heard this term used before in relation to shoulder pain.

The rotator cuff (RC) is a name used to describe a group of four unique muscles that attach from your shoulder blade (scapula) to different locations on your upper arm bone (humerus). These four muscles yield a multitude of function for the shoulder complex and in short,  help to provide strength and stability for your shoulder joint.  These 4 muscles are:

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Minor
  • Subscapularis


Each muscle is responsible for contributing to several shoulder movements while stabilizing the humerus; and due to the unique make up of these muscles there can also be a variety of injuries that stem from this area, including: tears of one or more RC muscles, impingement of the tendon, or tendonitis of the aforementioned muscles.

We will dive more deeply into these different injuries as well the function of the RC muscles’ in your day to day activities.