The supraspinatus is the rotator cuff muscle that is most frequently torn. Tears start to become common beyond the age of forty, with an increased incidence in each decade of life. Figure 3 illustrates a supraspinatus rotator cuff tear.
Outline of shoulder showing parts of shoulder joint: acromion, coracoid process, coracoacromial ligament, subacromial space with bursa inside, clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), long head of biceps tendon, and supraspinatus (muscle and tendon that help form rotator cuff).
Even after initial pain is reduced trigger points in the rotator cuff muscles are still injured and require on-going treatment to increase blood flow circulation and release the hyperirritable trigger points.