Neck pain is a very common complaint and is only increasing with the use of computers and text messaging on our smart phones. In this article, we will focus on a particular muscle that causes a lot of neck and upper back pain and discuss a simple stretch that you can do at home to relieve your neck and upper back pain. The muscle is called the levator scapulae.
The levator scapulae can cause pain in the following areas:
The levator scapulae is a muscle that attaches from the upper part of your neck and into the shoulder blade. Thus, when tight or in spasm this muscle can cause one sided neck pain. It also can cause pain along the shoulder blade and pain that travels across the back of the shoulder.
In addition, when this muscle becomes tight it may cause a shoulder to become elevated on that side. Also, this tight muscle will cause issues with your range of motion. If you have ever had the experience where you have to turn your entire body to look at another person then the levator scapulae is tight. It is often referred to as the “Frankenstein” muscle because when tight you have to turn your entire body rather than simple turning your head.
But, you can stretch this muscle to relieve neck and upper back pain. If you are going to stretch the right levator scapulae you will place your right hand behind your back. Next, you will have your left hand grasp your right wrist and traction the right shoulder downward. Lastly, you will bring your chin towards you left knee. You will hold the stretch for 20 seconds. You can then repeat the same stretch on the opposite side. Please refer to the above video for a demonstration.
If you are experiencing neck and upper back pain call our office today at 651-779-5998. Most patients experience significant relief in neck and upper back pain after just a few adjustments to their neck and upper back. Dr. Eric Lund
We serve many patients in Roseville, MN, Saint Paul, MN, Arden Hills, MN, Shoreview, MN, and Falcon Heights, MN. 55113 and 55117