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Levator scapulae stretch

The levator scapulae stretch is designed to improve the flexibility of the levator scapulae muscle.

Relevant anatomy

It arises as small tendons from the transverse processes of the atlas and axis as well as from the next two vertebrae. It inserts on the top part of the medial border of the scapula.

Actions It elevates the superior angle of the scapula. If unchecked, it does lateral rotation of the scapula. With the cervical vertebral column stable, it acts together with trapezius to elevate the scapula or to sustain a weight carried on the shoulder; with the shoulder fixed, the it bends the neck to the same side.

The cervical spine is exposed to constant anterior shear forces caused by gravity and the lordotic position of the spine in this region. The levator scapulae help counter these forces. An increase in the cervical lordosis as seen in forward head posture further intensifies the anterior shear forces on the cervical vertebrae and may lead to over activity of the levator scapulae to resist these excessive anterior shear forces therefore removal of the excessive anterior shear forces is necessary for treating the strained muscle.

Levator scapulae stretch
Levator scapulae stretch anatomy
Levator scapulae stretch
Levator scapulae stretch
3d model Levator scapulae stretch

  • Place arm behind back.
  • Place other hand on top of head.
  • Pull head down and to diagonally, looking toward the hip.
  • Repeat on other side.
  • Hold end position for 10-15 seconds
  • Repeat for 5-6 times