Shoulder Issues and Massage Part 2

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CHARLOTTE – Seems like a lot, but we can certainly narrow it down to a common culprit of this muscular discomfort: the levator scapula.

The levator scapulae is in an area that can cause a lot of issues in pain or limited mobility. It’s actually a long muscle of the shoulder girdle with attachments up under your skull, and on the 3rd and 4th cervical vertebrae. It extends down and attaches to your scapula, or what we know as the shoulder blade.  So a muscle that runs from your shoulder blade up to the back of your neck, up under your skull? That can certainly spell trouble. Yes, you might have headaches if it’s tight. Can you rotate your head from side to side (looking over each shoulder) with ease? It can certainly limit the rotation of your neck. Since it helps to rotate and stabilize your shoulder blade and helps with rotation and stabilization of the spine, if there’s a problem with it being weak and/ or tight, these are all problems you might experience.

As I said before, the great news is, it’s easy to manipulate the levator scapula and ease its tightness significantly. By working as much of the muscle as possible and making the muscle more pliable, the tensions can be relieved.

So remember: stiffness and limited range of motion, shoulders feeling as if they’re in a permanent shrug, or feeling tight, then seek out assistance. Make sure you tell your therapist all the issues you may be experiencing, even if you think they’re minor or have nothing to do with why you’re there. Everything is connected and can be the difference in finding relief sooner. Now go get a massage.

-Lisa Lane is a NC licensed massage and bodywork therapist (#13098) in Mint Hill. Visit her website for an appointment at

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