The teres minor is a slim, narrow muscle of the rotator cuff, located in the shoulder. It is involved in the external rotation of the shoulder joint. The other muscles composing the rotator cuff are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and subscapularis. It links the scapula to the humerus, along with the teres major and infraspinatus muscles, which lie either side and overlap the teres minor. Along with the infraspinatus, the muscle keeps the head of the humerus in place where it joins with the scapula. It is possible for the two muscles to be joined together by a few fibers. Tearing the tendons of rotator cuff muscles are a common injury for athletes in sports involving throwing, such as American football, tennis and baseball. Treatment for the condition involves reducing the swelling with rest, ice, and keeping the arm elevated. Depending on the extremity of the injury, surgery may be necessary, such as with a complete separation. Specific arm exercises may be used to strengthen the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and subscapularis, and teres minor, thus attempting to heal current injuries and protect against possible future tears.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Teres minor