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Levator Scapula

This is an interesting muscle and we don’t realize that we are using it.

Do you have a shoulder that is always able to keep a bag, backpack, bra strap, etc on it, without the item slipping off? This is because of a muscle that shrugs the shoulder, the levator scapula. Our bodies are good at not overworking. When you consistently do a specific motion, the body will adapt by shortening some muscles and elongating the opposing muscles. In this case your levator scapula has shortened a bit. How do you help readjust this? Carry your bags differently. Change the load and the way you carry things. Wear clothing that fits well.

Levator Scapula shoulder shrug with purse strap
Levator Scapula Shoulders relaxed

Personal Experience:  For many years I experienced pain on the right side of my neck by the afternoon. I never understood why. That is until I was forced to stop wearing a bra for a month. (My ribs were too sore to have any pressure on them, from the Heimlich maneuver that dislodged the steak I had been choking on.) When I started wearing the bra again I noticed the pain on the side of my neck, it had disappeared completely when I stopped wearing the bra. I realized that I was elevating my right shoulder to keep my bra strap on. I would find myself for months, after stopping wearing my bra, consciously lowering my shoulder.

Make sure you watch this short instructional video below!

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