achy shoulder pain

Does this relate to you or someone you know?

How many times have you reached over to the top of your shoulder blade and complained of a dull aching discomfort, or some pain when turning your head?

Did you know that one of the most common complaints new practice members have is achy shoulder pain? And the area they almost always point to is the area circled on the diagram above? (Also known as the superior medial angle) and unfortunately, one of the main causes is their forward head and rounded shoulders – also known as Anterior Spinal Distortion.


Anterior spinal distortion can develop due to prolonged hours sitting in front of a laptop, looking down at a phone, or driving many hours without stopping and moving around.

Quite simply this muscle is known as the Levator Scapulae. It attaches from the shoulder blade to the upper part of the neck (C1 – C4). Its main role is to assist in the elevation of your shoulder girdle. It also plays a part in side bending (lateral flexion).

With chronic anterior spinal distortion, this muscle stays in a prolonged lengthened position and achy shoulder and neck pain will manifest where the muscle attaches on the top angle of the shoulder blade. It is basically constantly pulling away at that specific area.

Many people will be told to stretch this area, but why would you stretch a muscle that is already in a lengthened position?

Many massage therapists will identify a ‘big knot’ in the muscle and massage it with real hard pressure. But the knot is a build up of inflamed fibrotic tissue in that area, so this approach seldom works.

The key is to identify the core problem that’s causing this in the first place. Don’t just treat the symptoms, correct the problem and learn how to prevent recreating it again in the future.

We can help. Learn how HERE.

Until then, here are some simple exercises to get you started in the right direction.


Dr. Derek Gallant has committed himself to helping others live the best life possible. After graduating from Wesleyan University, he received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West where he finished 2nd in his class. He is the owner of Beverly Family Chiropractic and co-founder of The Well Family Foundation. Dr. Gallant is certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) in the Webster technique, an analysis focused on assisting pregnant women in a healthy pregnancy and natural birth. He has inspired thousands of people to take control of their own health using the Life By Design method. Apart from full time practice you can find Derek at the parks and coffee shops around Beverly with his family, training hard at the gym, or at the beach surfing.

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