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Myofascial pain patterns of the levator scapulae muscle

Trigger points (x's) within the levator scapulae are one of the most common causes of stiff neck and limited neck rotation due to pain on movement. Essential (solid red) and spillover (stippled red) referred pain from these trigger points project pain to the angle of the neck, the vertebral border, and inferior angle of the scapula, and to the shoulder posteriorly. (From: Travell JG, Simons DG. Myofascial pain and dysfunction, levator scapulae muscle, the trigger point manual. Volume 1. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1983:335, with permission.)

Associated Disorders

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Greater occipital neuralgia
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Postexercise muscle soreness
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Whiplash