The levator spaculae muscle in the neck is the usual site of pain. The muscle is in charge for certain motions including shoulder shrugs. If not treated, the neck pain can lead to sleep disruptions and irritability during the day and might be linked to anxiety and depression.
The levator spaculae muscle is positioned on either flank of the neck. The muscles begin on the 4 superior vertebrae of the cervical spine and attach to the scapula. Remember that this is a dynamic muscle that has a vital role in raising the shoulders, moving the shoulder girdle and several arm movements. Reduced motions can affect other parts of the upper body.
What are the causes of levator scapulae pain?
A doctor should be consulted for physical examination. In some instances, an X-ray or other imaging tests might be necessary to properly diagnose the levator scapulae pain.
The cause might be an injury to a simple daily strain. If a strain occurs, there is increased tightness and tension in a muscle from muscular contraction over an extended span of time. If not treated, it can lead to reduced range of motion for the shoulders, neck and arms.
Among women, carrying bags with shoulder straps is a possible cause of levator scapulae pain.
How is it managed?
For a muscle strain, commonly used treatment options include application of ice, massage, stretching, posture correction and exercises can help in alleviating the levator scapulae pain.
Self-care measures for the discomfort also include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Remember that posture is vital in preventing levator scapulae pain. In the workplace, it is recommended to take small breaks by walking around and stretch every 30 to 45 minutes.