Uneven Shoulders (scoliosis) Leading to Shoulder Pain

uneven shoulder - scoliosis bone structure

Did you ever notice that your one shoulder is higher than the other? People might think that you are shrugging, but this is not the case. Before getting upset, you should know that this is a common condition and can be easily treated. Not only it looks odd, but uneven shoulders can lead to shoulder pain and neck discomforts and make you vulnerable to future injuries. 

How Did You Develop Uneven Shoulders? 

It might be helpful to identify one primary reason for uneven shoulders. However, there are many reasons that might lead to this condition. So, the best approach is to split the problem into many categories. 

Structural or Neuronal Disorders

If your one shoulder higher than the otherit could be due to a structural imbalance called scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal arch of the backbone, lop-sided hip, or one leg longer than the other. Apart from this, neuronal issues like neck injury could also raise one shoulder than the other. 

Suppose you think you have imbalanced shoulders due to an injury or structural impairment. In that case, the best solution will be to immediately consult a doctor or therapist. 

What is the Reason for Uneven Shoulders? 

Suppose you are suffering from jagged shoulders due to structural impingement. In that case, the most possible reason is a muscle imbalance that leads to dislocated shoulders. In this case, the muscles on the raised shoulders are likely to be stiff. Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapulae are two specific muscles that lead to muscle dysfunction. 

Why are these Muscles Stiff? 

The way you hold your body all day makes your muscles short and tight. For instance, if you raise one shoulder oddly and keep it in that position for a long time, your muscles will adjust to that position. 

If you have jagged shoulder, your upper traps and levator scapulae are condensed on one side than the other. Hence, your muscle is nailed to a shortened length. As one side of the shoulder has tight muscles, the muscles will tug up the shoulder and cause it to raise. 

What are the Common Reasons for Elevated Shoulder Condition? 

Some of the most typical reasons for elevated shoulders are: 

  • Some people have a habit of frequently raising their one shoulder to hold the phone to ear
  • Constantly sleeping on one preferred side may also elevate one shoulder position 
  • Often carrying a heavyweight on the same shoulder can cause it to lift to support extra mass
  • If you continuously bend your head on the same side, it will cause the scapulae to condense

Hence, the duration for which your muscles remain in a particular position matters. If you take a specific position for many hours each day for several years, the muscles adjust to that position. 

How Can You Treat Imbalanced Shoulders? 

Fixing jagged shoulders is a two-step procedure: 

Treat the Root Cause 

The foremost thing you should do is avoid the unnatural positions that disturb the standard structure of your shoulder. You need to know the root cause and change your habit. 

Stretch and Relax the Stiff Muscles 

The best remedy to fix muscle imbalances is to stretch and relax the stiff muscles. Perform a self-massage on the traps and the scapulae. After the muscle fibres get released, push the muscles to stretch so that they get back to their original position. 

The traps are especially likely to become stiff as it is the place where a person carries the most stress. 

Massaging and Relaxing Traps  

Check your neck region for tender spots. These spots will help perform a myofascial release. One convenient way to do this would be using a trigger point massage stick. When using this stick, place the hook on your shoulder in a way that the dial is on the upper trap region. Starting from there, move it around unless you locate tender spots and push down on the area for at least half a minute. 

For the best outcome, lie on the floor and position the ball on your upper traps. Instead, you can lean on the wall, with a ball placed among your shoulder traps and the wall. 

Another excellent technique for releasing the stiff traps is shiatsu neck and shoulder massage. This is known as the most effective technique of all. To perform this: 

  • Fix down your arm to avoid the shoulder from being lifted 
  • After this, tilt your skull to the other side. Moderately add pressure using your free hand. It will enhance the stretch. 
  • If you are able to perform this accurately, you will sense a stretch across one side of the shoulder traps. 

Stretching and Relaxing Levator Scapulae 

Massaging levator scapulae is much easier than the shoulder traps as it entails less effort. You just need the support of your own hands and fingers, a massage ball, or a trigger massage tool. To perform this, you need to: 

  • Position any massage tool on the area behind the ear lobe region. Note that it is a muscular region. 
  • After identifying the part, apply gentle pressure 
  • Gradually move along this muscle down to the neck in trivial circular motions
  • To stretch the Levator Scapulae, follow the same technique as the upper traps. The difference is very minute as it requires you to tilt your head to the other direction of the shoulder. Ensure that you sense that the stretch is dissimilar from the upper traps. If you wish to intensify this stretch, you need to hold your scapula in a position and try to push it down from the peak of your head. 

How to Fix Imbalanced Shoulders? 

The main issue of jagged shoulders is the unnatural and odd body positions that develop a habit. Hence, it may take some time to fix the raised shoulder for the one who is stressed and tolerates a lot of pressure in the upper traps. It will be an ongoing process on how to relive the shoulder traps. Regular massage can help. 

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