The levatorscap as it is commonly known is a much-misunderstood muscle! It often manifests serious and recalcitrant trigger points, perhaps as a result of how its function meets modern technology. It elevates and helps to retract the scapula and also helps to laterally bend the neck. It’s the small unipennate muscle we abuse when we carry a heavy bag on our shoulders or put a cell-phone betwixt our neck and shoulder. In terms of the trigger point pain maps trigger points in the levator scapulae form a triangular pattern from top of scapula to nape of neck with aslight overspill to medial border of scapula and posterior glenohumeral joint
The levator scapulae is deep to both the sternocleidomastoid and the trapezius muscles. It is named after its action of elevating the scapula. It is often a source of major tension, often associated with stress or emotional overload. Note how the muscle fibers run anteriorly, twist on themselves and insert in the cervical spine connecting the scapula to the neck itself. This gives the ‘palpatory illusion’ that there’s a knot in the muscle which can somehow been ironed or poked out, this is NOT the case. The levator scapulae is an important muscle in so many ways in regards to neck and shoulder pain, and dysfunction.
How do you treat trigger these trigger points? We’d be delighted if you want to share your own best practice.