Ivan Zamorano

Acupunture Treatment

Levator Scapulae SA Static Release

Levator Scapulae SA Static Release

This is Brent, President of B2C Fitness,
and we’re talking about self-administered static release
techniques of those muscles that lie just above our shoulder blade. Now, we
have three muscles up there, we have the levator scapulae, the supraspinatus, and
the upper trap. Despite the upper trap taking blame for most of the
tightness in this area, what we find is that it’s actually the levator scapulae that gets tightest first. This has to do with a more detailed explanation
of our upper-body dysfunction, where the scapula goes into downward rotation, and
anterior tipping. Now, the muscle that’s best at that is the levator scapulae, if
we take it a little further we find that the supraspinatus is next in line to
develop trigger points, and the trap is actually the least likely of the three
to develop trigger points and adaptively shorten. So, in this way, we create a little
progression. The first thing I would like you to go after is levator scapulae
trigger points, then followed by supraspinatus trigger points, and then if
there’re still trigger points left, we’ll go after the traps. So I’m going to have
Laura come out and help me demonstrate this levator scapulae self-administered
static release. Now, your levator scapulae runs from the superior angle of
your scapula, up into your neck, so if you palpate this upward corner, and then go
just above it, you’ll find those trigger points you’re
looking for. So I’m going to have Laura place the ball where she thinks those
trigger points are. She’s going to go ahead lean up against the wall, and then
place her hand there to stabilize the ball. Now, notice she’s using the opposite
hand, but if you use the same hand you’ll activate the levator scapulae and you’re
less likely to get a release. Now, when she has found the most tender spot by rolling
around just a little bit, she can put that muscle in stretch, by going into
contralateral flexion, contralateral rotation, and a little bit of flexion, so
she’s going to look into her opposite pocket. Then, she’s going to
hold that until she gets a release. That usually happens within 30 seconds to 2
minutes. Now, one thing I would suggest against is, every once in a while I see
somebody try to perform this technique on the floor. When you’re on the floor,
your head goes back into extension shortening that muscle way down, and it
also makes it much harder to get comfortable. So, if you try this technique,
once again, we’re going to go up against the wall with a little bit of pressure,
until we get a release. Thank you.

30 Replies to “Levator Scapulae SA Static Release”

  • thanks again Brent for your reply. So why the contralateral flexion and rotation of the head during this release? for the release of the Supraspinatus its an ipsilateral flexion and rotation of the head (to deactivate the traps)

  • That is a great question… For the most part we put muscles in a passively lengthened position while applying pressure to release. I would imagine it has to do with receptor stimulation, but it may also have to do with reducing the amount of tissue bulk around the trigger point to gain better access. It doesn't always hold true, but in the case of the levator scapulae.. letting the head fall in a way that lengthens the levator does seem to enhance the technique.

  • Thanks MakesSense77,
    Stretching and release work should not be done to a point of maximal pain tolerance. A relaxed, moderate stretching force (or in this case moderate pressure), is much more likely to result in a release and maximal results. Another thing we should all consider is that really intense techniques may initiate an inflammatory response that is excessive for the gains we are trying to attain.
    Thanks for noticing the hard work… much appreciated,

  • Im going to do this with my client that I emailed you about. This is something I can do with him and he can do on his own.

  • Glad I could provide you with a self-administered solution to your clients issue. Thanks for the questions and comments.

  • Glad I could provide you with a self-administered solution to your clients issue. Thanks for the questions and comments.

  • Good Video. I am going to ask my patients I see in the Emergency room to look for this video. People want pain killers but that is not the solution. Thank you.

  • That's awesome ogcen,
    There are certainly less side-affects associated with self-administered static release techniques, than there are with medications 🙂 Thanks for the thoughts, I am glad I could help.

  • Your videos are really awesome. Especially in combination with your website. Your stuff is helping me so much, both in terms of improving my own movement patterns, but also learning about how to help other people. I hope to get a chance to learn from you in person.

  • Thank you so much for the praise Paul,
    I hope you make it to a live workshop as well. I will keep putting as much stuff out there as I can, but there will always be a special place for live instruction… Where are you located, maybe we will be heading your way soon?

  • Hey Paul Nichols,
    LA is a strong possibility in the later half of 2014. See my events page for more details – go to my youtube channel page, follow the link to my website, once there then click on workshops. (Sorry, youtube does not allow you put hyperlinks in theses comment boxes.)

  • For the past 2 months I have been working out and working with Michele. That along with watching your videos and doing these techniques I have not only lost 25 lbs but I also became incredibly stronger. Even more important than that is I no longer have knee or hip pain. I of course thank Michele but I also thank you. 

  • Thanks for the great videos! I've shared them on my blog: http://ptfitnesswriter.blogspot.ca/2015/03/neck-pain-its-pain-in-neck.html

  • Hi, Brent. What is more preferable (scientifically) to treat muscle knots (trigger points) ? Heat or Ice ? And how  the protocol ((if there is any) applies ? Kind regards

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  • Hello Brent and thanks for the video, helpful as always. How many times a day should I do this for best results?

  • Thanks for sharing this video with us! I have my levator trigger points on fire, and was wondering if acupuncture works when the trigger points are resistant to manual release?
    Thanks for all your help!

  • OMG. I have had chronic levator scap strains from powerlifting. The last time i was off for six weeks, this time ive been off for a week and a bit and was in so much worse pain. I had a massage and acupuncture which made me feel like I was getting better and then I saw a PT for dry needling. The dry needling was done four days ago and from the instant he did it I have been in constant pain. I cant sit without pain, walking is agony, lying down flat offers no release, everything was either constant dull throbbing or sharp piercing agony in that left injured side.

    I just did your stretch and this, haven't even done the trigger point work yet and I feel so much better. It's still injured, it will take time to get back to 100% but the pain relief…. I actually teared up as I finished this video exercise the relief was just so intense.

    Still afraid for sleep tonight, but at least I have this added to my arsenal.

    Thank you and God Bless.

  • First of all, thank you for the info you're providing. Have been trying to properly stretch my levator scapulae, without success, for days, until I found your video on static stretch. Never felt my shoulder blade/neck better! As for this video, the static release, I'm a bit confused. What are the differences among these drills you've uploaded: static stretch, active stretch, static release and active release. Do I have to do them all, and if yes, in what order? Thanks again!!

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