Exercises for Levator Scapulae Muscle Pain Syndrome


Sit tall on a straight chair.
Grab the bottom of the seat with your hand on the injured side to lower the shoulder by pulling down.
Tilt and turn your head to the opposite side.
Nod head forward until a stretch is felt along side and back of neck.
Apply extra pressure (gently) with your hand to increase the stretch if needed.
Hold the stretch and relax.


Sitting on a bench or chair on the side edge, hold under the bench with the hand on the tight side, ensuring that the arm is out from the body and that the shoulder is down.
Drop your head forward onto your chest.
Side bend and rotate the neck away from the tight side, bringing your chin towards the opposite armpit.
Bring your opposite hand up onto the side of your head to assist the stretch.
Return to the starting position and repeat.


Place one hand behind your buttock to lower your shoulder.
Turn your head to the opposite side and look down.
Gently pull down on your head with the other hand and maintain the position when you feel a stretching sensation. Repeat.


You can do the stretch seated or standing.
Keeping the shoulder down on the side that you are stretching, look down and toward the opposite hip, until you feel a comfortable stretch in the back of your neck.
Hold for the recommended time then relax.
You can sit on your hand-on the side you are stretching-to pull the shoulder down even more.
Use your opposite arm to pull your head down into a deeper stretch.


Step on a strong band on the same side as the side to stretch.
Grab the band with the hand, allowing the band to anchor your arm and shoulder down.
Side-bend your head toward the opposite shoulder of the anchoring side. Next, tuck your chin toward the opposite side as to look at your front pocket.
You should feel a comfortable stretch on the side of your neck and above your shoulder blade-on the same-side as the band.
Hold the position and repeat the exercise on the other side by stepping on the band with the opposite foot.


Stand with your arms relaxed on each side of your body.
Make backward circles with your shoulders.


Stand with your arms relaxed on each side of your body.
Make forward circles with your shoulders.
Relax and repeat.


Stand against a wall with a spikey ball placed on your upper back above your scapula (on the levator scapulae muscle).
Apply a comfortable pressure (“feel good” pain).
Keep the pressure, move your body up and down to slowly roll the ball along the muscle.
You can pause on the tighter spots for up to 30 seconds.
You can vary the direction of the rolling and switch for a more horizontal style if you want to.


Colgan Osteopath in Kettering Northamptonshire

Colgan Osteopath in Hatfield, Hertfordshire

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