Uneven shoulders – should I worry?

No – you should have uneven shoulders.  There; that’s answered that and should make this the shortest blog ever written!

However, Google the same question and you get loads of rubbish spouted by some seemingly well qualified people.  As an example, I found this one earlier:

“If your body is correctly aligned, your shoulders will be at the same height and facing forward. Uneven shoulders occur when one shoulder is higher than the other. This can be a slight or significant difference and may be due to several causes. Luckily, there are steps you can take to bring your body back into balance and alignment.”

They say: “…your shoulders will be at the same height and facing forward.” Now, this is evidently not what we see around us. Level shoulders are really rare. They are only ever seen in the odd few. And you have to ask, have the authors ever bothered to look? I suspect they have just accepted what they ‘believe’ to be true and never taken the time to check.

But why should one shoulder be lower than the other?

The most common reason for these ubiquitous uneven shoulders is rarely mentioned, but it affects nearly all of us. 

You should have one shoulder lower than the other. This is normal. Why? Well, you will have one arm that is more powerful than the other. For nearly everyone, this will be your dominant hand arm. This will be the arm you’d use to drive a screw into anything really hard. To give it this additional power it must, nearly by definition, have more muscle in it. So, it is just a heavier arm. Over your life time this additional weight draws the shoulder down on that side and results in uneven shoulders. So, no one should have level shoulders – unless you are ambidextrous or have an underlying issue. So, you are to stop worrying about this and at once.

Are there any problems that can cause uneven shoulders?

Yes. And these are important, and we can check for them, but in comparison to the fact that you should naturally have one lower shoulder these reasons are really, really rare.  The most common we see is as a result of connective tissue laxity and is explained here.

If you are worried let me know by commenting and I’ll give you my gem-like thoughts on the matter.   

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