Shoulder Muscle Causes Pain In Upper Back And Neck
Muscles are the most common cause of pain in the upper back and neck.
The levator scapulae muscle is also called the ‘shoulder hiker.’ It lifts or hikes your shoulder blade.
Trigger Points Cause Upper Back and Neck Pain
Trigger points are hyperirritable areas of muscle that cause pain elsewhere, sometimes at a great distance from the trigger point. Trigger points can be in the shoulder hiker muscle and when they are they cause pain around the upper back and shoulder blade.
In this picture, you can see the shoulder hiker muscle. You are looking at the back side of a body. The muscle attaches to the bones of your neck. It also attaches to your shoulder blade on the innermost top part.
If trigger points develop in this muscle it will cause pain where the muscle is.
It will also cause pain along the spine side of your shoulder blade down to the bottom of the shoulder blade.
And it can cause pain at the back of your shoulder on the top of your arm.
If it always feels like your shoulders are creeping up to your ears, this guy is the culprit. It has become shortened because you held your shoulders hiked and the muscle got used to being in that position. It may also have developed trigger points that need to be released. If you do not release the trigger points you will continue to have pain in your upper back and neck.
What can you do to help this muscle relax?
1. You can use a pressure tool or finger to press into the levator scapulae muscle. Press at the crook of your neck where your neck meets your shoulder. Look for very tender areas. That is where you want to apply pressure. Also press where the muscle meets the top of the shoulder blade. Those are the two areas where trigger points are.
2. You can go to a professional massage therapist who can warm and relax the muscle (and others around it) with manual pressure and massage. He or she will work the length of the muscle to help it stretch and settle it down. A trigger point therapist can get rid of the triggers that are causing the pain in your neck and upper back.
3. You can lift your shoulders to your ears. Hike them way up and hold for twenty seconds or so. This will tire the shoulder hiker muscle so it will start to relax. You can do this several times. (But use sense. Too many times can make the muscles ache from overuse just as any new exercise program can.)
What Activities Cause Pain In Upper Back And Neck?
The stress of poor, collapsed posture will cause the shoulder hiker muscle to complain. So can overexercise (hiking your shoulders when lifting) or rotating your neck too much from side to side (watching a tennis match.)
A car accident can activate trigger points in the levator scapulae and so can walking with a cane that is too tall. Carrying a purse or bag with your shoulder hiked up also causes pain in your upper back and neck.
Scoliosis can also cause pain in the crook of the neck but that’s a different issue. The whole body needs to be addressed in that case.
- So, relax the levator scapulae muscle with massage or pressure.
- Change or stop doing whatever is causing your shoulder hiker muscle(s) to be unhappy.
That, in a nutshell, is how you can get rid of pain in your upper back and neck naturally when it is caused by the shoulder hiker muscle.