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How To Massage the Levator Scapula Muscle

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Updated October 03, 2007

The levator scap inserts on the inside top part of the shoulderblade.

The levator scap inserts on the inside top part of the shoulderblade.

(c) Anne Asher 2006 licensed to About.com
Tight shoulder and neck muscles deserve a massage. For many people, a sore spot can be found on the levator scapula muscle. Here is a technique for massaging your own levator muscle.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 5 or more minutes

Here's How:

  1. Locate the inside top corner of the shoulder blade with your opposing-side hand. See the picture for help.
  2. With your fingers, press into the area just above the inside top corner of the shoulder blade. This is where the soft tissue is. For this technique you should be off the bone, and onto the muscle that attaches to the bone. We are using the bone as a landmark to locate the levator scapula muscle insertion.
  3. With a pressure that is firm enough to create a feeling but not so firm that it hurts, move your fingers back and forth over the area you located in step 2.
  4. Trace the muscle all the way up to your neck, making little circles. Let the muscle tension guide you as you make your way from the inside top of the shoulder blade to the side of the neck.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. My article on the levator scapula muscle has a picture of the levator as well as the shoulder blades, to help you find where to massage.
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