Uneven shoulders, also known as asymmetrical shoulders, are when your left and right shoulders are different heights. Your shoulders may be unstable for various reasons, including muscular imbalances, posture, and congenital disabilities. Although most cases of uneven shoulders are benign and require no treatment, some may cause pain or affect your range of motion. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, consult your doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Causes of uneven shoulders
As mentioned, there are various causes for uneven shoulders. Listed below are the most common reasons:
When the muscles around your shoulders are not evenly balanced, it can cause your shoulders to appear uneven. This is often due to tightness or weakness in specific muscles.
One of the most common reasons for uneven shoulders is muscular imbalances. When the muscles on one side of the body are stronger than the other, it can pull the shoulder out of alignment and cause it to appear higher than the other.
This is often seen in people with scoliosis, which causes the spine to curve sideways. Treatment for scoliosis usually involves exercises that help to strengthen the muscles on the weaker side of the body and improve balance. If this is the case, talking to scoliosis experts would help you understand your condition better.
Poor posture can cause your shoulders to slump, making them appear uneven. People who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or looking at a screen usually have poor posture.
To correct this, stand up straight and pull your shoulders back. You should also avoid sitting for long periods, as this can exacerbate the problem.
Some people are born with uneven shoulders due to congenital defects, such as scoliosis or Sprengel’s deformity. In most cases, these conditions are benign and require no treatment. However, scoliosis can sometimes progress and cause pain or difficulty moving the affected shoulder. If you’re concerned about a congenital defect, talk to your doctor about how to manage it.
Uneven shoulders can also be caused by trigger points, which are areas of muscle tension that can refer to pain in other parts of the body. Trigger points are often found in the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
They can be caused by various things, including poor posture, muscle imbalances, and repetitive movements. Treatment for trigger points usually involves massage, stretching, and exercise.
Bone spurs are bony outgrowths that can form on the bones of the shoulders. They are often the result of repetitive movements or wear and tear on the joints. Bone spurs can cause pain and difficulty moving the affected shoulder. If you have a bone spur, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove it.
Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the affected shoulder. There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common type that affects the shoulder is osteoarthritis. Treatment for arthritis usually involves pain medication, physical therapy, and exercise.
Rotator Cuff Injury
A rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles secure the shoulder joint. A rotator cuff injury can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected shoulder. Treatment for a rotator cuff injury usually involves rest, ice, and physical therapy.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, a small sac of fluid that cushions the shoulder joint. Bursitis can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected shoulder. Treatment for bursitis usually involves rest, ice, and physical therapy.
Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons around the shoulder joint. It can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected shoulder. Treatment for tendonitis usually involves rest, ice, and physical therapy.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes the shoulder joint to freeze up, making it difficult to move. It can be caused by injury, inflammation, or scar tissue formation. Treatment for frozen shoulder usually involves physical therapy and exercise.
The most common symptom of the frozen shoulder is pain. The pain may be mild at first, but it can become severe. Other symptoms include stiffness and difficulty moving the affected shoulder.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that typically affects people between 40 and 60. It is more common in women than men. People with diabetes, thyroid problems, or other chronic health conditions are at increased risk for developing frozen shoulder.
There are many possible reasons why your shoulders may be uneven. These include congenital disabilities, trigger points, bone spurs, arthritis, rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, tendonitis, and frozen shoulder. Treatment for these conditions usually involves rest, ice, physical therapy, and exercise. If you’re concerned about your uneven shoulders, talk to your doctor.