The levator scapulae muscles are part of the shoulder girdle, located along the sides of the neck, connecting down onto the top part of the scapula (shoulder blade).
It originates from the transverse process of C1 – C4 and inserts onto the superior angle of the scapula.
It is responsible for elevating the scapula (shrugging motion) or rotating it downward, side bending the head, and stabilising the neck and head by preventing the scapula from being pulled down when the arms are lifting a heavy load.
So if you are carrying a heavy item, your levator scapulae are already working hard. If on top of this you then hunch your shoulders (as we are all prone to doing from time to time) the muscle is working overtime and is at risk from a strain or micro tear.
The easiest way to take the stress off these muscles is to make sure your shoulders are down and rolled back, and well away from your ears!
By Kristen Burgess ~ Remedial Massage Therapist