Therapy Notes – Stiffness up the side of the neck

This trigger point comes from the levator scapula muscle which twists as it lifts the scapula. That twist is increased and increases pain along the length of the muscle as the neck is turned. The exact location of the trigger point varies with the tilt of the shoulder and such but is somewhere on or just above the superior angle of the scapula.

The role of Forward-Head Posture in tension with the levator scapula becomes more apparent when viewed from laterally. SCM, suboccipital muscles and scalenes all need to be addressed to bring the head back over the shoulders.

Neuromuscular Assessment. This PDF is from a later evolution of The Workbook with abbreviated Clinic notes for the student therapist. Again, these are here for your review but intended to be part of a larger course with instructor input.


The atlantoaxial complex is usually anterior when the levator scapula is laden with trigger points. Mobilizing the atlas and axis is critical to shifting the head back over the pelvis and releasing the perpetuating tension on the levator scapula.

There are several muscles that attach to the upper cervical complex and can perpetuate the displacement of the atlantoaxial joints. This post will help to mobilize and balance those structures so that the direct work on levator scapula is easier, more comfortable for the client and longer-lasting.

There’s a funny twist in the levator scapula. This post is here if you’d like to review the anatomy before reviewing the routine.

This post has the routine from The Workbook of Classical Neuromuscular Therapy for your review.

Featured Post

Cough less and
Cough with less pain.

This post has reliable techniques to help you cough less. I’ve “magically” stopped the coughing of many clients with a few seconds with this neurological trick.

When you stop coughing,
continue to practice social distancing.
Act responsibly in protecting
the health of yourself and others.

There are also several self-care items to help you when the coughing hurts in your side, or in your back.

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

Question? Comment? Typo?
(404) 226-1363