The Levator Scapulae (in yellow) is a deep muscle hidden beneath the SCM and the Trapezius.
As the name suggests its action is that of elevating the scapula, which it literally picks up from the superior angle. Our posture tends to elevate the scapula by default, as stress loads the Upper Trapezius muscle and we find ourselves with our shoulders up to our ears. This means that the LS is on a constant state of contraction.
A curious fact about the LS is that it is twisted. Most people will identify this hardening as a ‘knot’, and most therapists will struggle to ‘release the knot’ by using force with their poor fingers!
The LS balances the downward forces of the lower trapezius and serratus muscles and suffers tremendously from our Computer Head posture (excessive curvature of the cervical spine so that our ears are forward in relation to our shoulders).
Pretty much all neck issues will have Myofascial Trigger Point contributions, and this muscle is commonly involved. The pain may travel down to the lower portion of the Shoulder blade, restricting movement.
I’m offering you some observations, from an energetic point of view, from a Teacher I studied with a few years ago. But before you read on, I would like to share my view, based on studies and experience: the cause of pain or discomfort is often an imbalance between two or more forces including stored trauma, postural habits, stress, repetitive movement, psychological issues to name a few.
“Stiffness around the shoulder blades usually reveals you are going in the wrong direction in life, or you are doing something in life that isn’t serving your highest purpose. This is actually a positive and predictive pain, showing that you either need to make an adjustment in your life direction or that an important change is about to come into your life and you will have to adjust to align yourself to this new change or direction. This may involve letting go of some old ways of thinking and behaving and adapting to newer, higher ways of thinking and behaving. The change will take place when you become aligned, at which point the energy between the spleen and small intestine meridians will flow freely, removing the blockage between the two. It is the blockage of energy between the two meridians, found in the area of the shoulder blades, that causes the feeling of resistance and lack of mobility.”
Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body ~ Robert Henderson