The levator scapulae syndrome refers to pain arising from the levator scapulae muscle which attaches to the top of the shoulder blade in the upper back. This can be part of a myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) with palpable myofascial trigger points in palpable bands of the skeletal muscle (Cerezo-Tellez et al., 2016).
The levator scapulae muscle is a scapular elevator and downward rotator when the neck is stable; it also indicates side flexion and rotation of the cervical spine (Levangie and Norkin, 2011).
Levator scapulae syndrome results from prolonged use or overstretching of the levator scapulae muscle. This can occur if you have poor posture or elevate your shoulder excessively during movement. This overloads the levator scapulae muscle and, when performed over a long-period of time, can result in inflammation and or a trigger point within the muscle.
Management involves postural correction, stretching and strengthening around the shoulder girdle.
Levangie P.K. and Norkin C., 2011, Joint Structure and Function, 5th Edition, Philadelphia, PA, pp: 177
Cerezo-Tellez E. et al., 2016, Prevalence of Myofascial Pain Syndrome in Chronic Non-Specific Neck Pain: A Population-BAsed Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study, Pain Medicine: the official journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, 17(12); pp: 2369-2377