The levator scapulae muscle is a long, thin muscle located on each side of the neck. The muscle attaches to the upper spinal vertebrae, and runs downward, twisting as it does, to attach to the upper end of the shoulder blade. The Levator Scapula contracts to raise the shoulder blade (such as when you shrug your shoulders), and helps to rotate the head to the same side. This muscle is overloaded by common postural distortions, sporting activities, and car accidents. The trigger points in this muscle refer pain and stiffness to the side of the neck, base of the neck, and to the inside of the shoulder blade. Active Levator Scapulae trigger points make a person unable to turn their head, so they will often have to turn their body instead. Additional, the tension in this muscle will often bring about a shortness of breath.
The trapezius is the large, diamond shaped muscle group that forms the base of the neck and upper back region. It has attachment points at the base of the skull, along the spine, on the shoulder blade, and on the collar bone. When this muscle contracts it typically moves the shoulder blade, but it also plays a part in moving the neck and head. Trigger points in this muscle refer pain to the back and side of the neck, to the temple region, behind the ear or back of the head, to the shoulder joint, and in the upper back region. Trigger points in this muscle develop for a number of reasons, including poor posture, emotional stress, whiplash injuries, falls, and sleeping positions (or sleeping under a ceiling fan). Additionally, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and dehydration (like the dehydration associated with a hangover) may activate trigger points in this muscle. The lower trigger point in the Trapezius will produce a aching pain in the shoulder and along the back of the neck. It is often the presence of this trigger point that gives one the feeling of the "weight of the world on your shoulders". The trigger point in the upper fibers refers pain strongly to the back of neck and base of the skull. Last summer I had pain in my neck, back, shoulders, all the way to the tips of my fingers on my left hand. I found Jessa and from the first moment when she released one of my neck muscles, I was a devotee. The first session was 90 minutes; if she would have let me, I would have stayed for 90 hours. Two months of Jessa and I was free of pain, with no surgery. I would highly recommend Jessa to anyone in pain." - Greg P. Alta Sierra