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Teres major




Teres Major - posterior view
Teres Major - anterior view

General information

  • This section is strictly limited to anatomy, you might be looking for clinical relevant information which is found under the clinical chapters -- muscles section, click here to go to that page


  • Superficial


  • Margo laterale scapula
    • Inferior aspect


  • Crista tuberculi minoris humerus

Main function

  • Shoulder
    • Medial rotation
    • Adduction
    • Extension

Secondary function

  • Scapula
    • Upward rotation

Nerve innervation

  • Segmental
    • C5-C7
  • Peripheral nerve
    • Inferior subscapular nerve

Arterial supply

  • Circumflex scapular artery
  • Thoracodorsal artery


  • Patient position
    • Prone
  • Place the patient's arm just outside the edge of the treatment bench
  • Palpate the lateral inferior 1/3 of scapula
  • Have the patient perform a medial rotation while you feel for contraction in the muscle

Muscle length test

  • Patient position
    • Supine
  • Note that this also tests the latissimus dorsi, rhomboideus major and minor
  • The patient is resting the arms along side of the body, and the hips are placed in flexion so that the soles of the feet are in connection with the treatment table
  • Have the patient lift both arms over their head, the upper arms are held so that they are close into the side of the patient's head
    • Make sure that the lower back is in connection with the bench so that it is not tilted away from the bench
  • Normal length is achieved if the patient is able to keep the arms in line with the bench (in extension) while the arms are held close to the head

Strength test

  • Patient position
    • Sitting or standing
  • Ask the patient to place a hand on their back
  • In this position the arm is in extension, adduction and medial rotation
  • Place your hand just above the elbow and give resistance in an abduction and flexion direction so that the patient is giving force towards adduction and extension