Could uneven shoulders indicate any issue?

Uneven shoulders could indicate many different things.  From scoliosis to a leg length discrepency.  Although, in most situations it is indicative of simply a muscle imbalance in the upper extremities.  I have found people that appear to have a shoulder jammed up into their simply because they sleep on that side, or possibly because they carry a heavy bag or purse or talk on the phone by leaning the head down to that shoulder.  If this is case it could be an easy fix.

The first thing to do is to commit to doing things differently.  Maybe start to sleep on your back or alteast rotate sides, get a smaller purse or bag (who really needs to carry around that much stuff anyway), and get a bluetooth or a hands free device to talk on the phone.

Once you have made the lifestyle change which is contributing to the problem, then you can begin a series of stretching and strengthening exercises to help correct the problem. 

  • First stretch the side of your neck which has the higher shoulder by dropping the opposite ear to the opposite shoulder. You will want to hold this for atleast 20 seconds.
  • Then, you will want to perform strengthening of a muscle called your lower traps.   This can easily be done by an exercise called "scaption raises", with or without dumbbells is fine. You will want to stand tall, turn your thumbs up and move your arms way from your body (at about a 35 degree angle) until they are all the above your head. You should look like a human "Y" at the end.
  • Another great exercise is a simple move.  Called "scapular depressions".  Imagine if you were trying to get up from a chair, you put your hands on the arm rests and push yourself up onto your feet.  The part when you first push, concentrate on pulling your shoulder blades into your back pockets and squeezing them together.

Perform 2-3 sets with 15-20 reps of the above stretching and strengthening exercise for best result. Don't forget to contact your Dr. before beginning any exercise program for a thorough evaluation.  If you are unsure of whether or not your shoulders are even consult a personal trainer for a movement evaluation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.