Uneven shoulders can result in significant pain in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Fortunately, most cases of uneven shoulders can be managed.

Generally speaking, there are four broad, conservative, non-invasive strategies for fixing uneven shoulders. These strategies include chiropractic care, sleep positioning, exercise, and specific home remedies.

Can a Chiropractor Fix Uneven Shoulders?

Chiropractors are experts in the musculoskeletal system. As a result, they often perform chiropractic for shoulder pain, including uneven shoulders.

Uneven shoulders can have multiple causes. Some uneven shoulders, like those caused by scoliosis (see below), may not be fully curable. However, with proper care, such conditions can be managed to prevent progression and lessen pain. Even in complex cases involving a disease like scoliosis, appropriate chiropractic care may be able to reverse some, though probably not all, of the damage the disease has caused.

Furthermore, for those cases where uneven shoulders are caused by spinal misalignment (as opposed to deformity), poor posture, or muscular tension, chiropractic care can likely help correct those issues, too.

Lastly, many chiropractic offices employ massage therapists who can release trigger points, relieve muscle knots, and stretch tight muscles. They may also employ physical therapists who can offer unique services to help fix uneven shoulders.

How To Sleep with Uneven Shoulders?

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. As a result, our sleep position can significantly impact our spinal alignment and posture. This, in turn, can influence the evenness or unevenness of our shoulders. Sleeping on the same side throughout the night, for example, may negatively affect the alignment of your shoulders. Consult your doctor or a sleep specialist to determine how to modify your sleep position for maximum benefit.

Exercises To Fix Uneven Shoulders

Several exercises can be used to reverse and fix some kinds of uneven shoulders. A study by the Journal of Research in Exercise Rehabilitation concluded that selected corrective exercises are effective in reducing pain and correcting uneven shoulder deformity..” 

1. Practice Proper Posture

Uneven shoulders can cause or be caused by poor posture. And the modern office lifestyle where you are tied to your desk slumped over a computer doesn’t help. You can help your posture significantly by ensuring your workspace is ergonomic and resisting the inclination to slump your neck down when using your phone or computer.

Did you know that your chiropractor can help with your posture?

2. Develop a Regular Exercise Routine

You want an exercise routine that incorporates stretching as well as muscular development. Yoga, for example, often fits that bill nicely. The movements it uses work different muscle groups and can be used to target problem areas like the shoulder, back, or neck.

In the case of uneven shoulders, you’ll want to develop the muscles around the shoulders, back, and neck.

Some specific shoulder stretches you can include in an exercise routine include:

  • The Doorway Stretch: stand in a doorway with each hand gripping the sides below shoulder level. Put some weight on the shoulder by leaning forward with your back straight.
  • Cross Arm Stretch: reach across your chest and touch the back of your opposing shoulder if you can. Then, switch sides. This is an excellent stretch for both posterior and anterior shoulder pain.
  • Upper Trapezius Stretch:  while sitting in a chair, place one hand behind your back and the other on your head. Use the hand on your head to gently pull your head towards your shoulder. Hold for about 30 seconds—release and switch sides.
  • Shoulder Towel Stretch: Grasp a towel on either end with your two hands, placing the towel behind your back. With the hand on top, try to pull the towel upwards. Hold for approximately 20 seconds, and then switch sides.

However, you should realize that exercise isn’t the only way of treating uneven shoulders.

Home Remedies to Fix Uneven Shoulders

There are a few simple things at home you can try to fix your uneven shoulders. These techniques are typically more effective if the problem is a strictly muscular or tissue issue (tension, injury, tendonitis, etc…) than a skeletal one. In any event, things to try include:

a. Rest

This is the most straightforward remedy as it simply requires you to do nothing: sit and relax, read a book, meditate, pray, or take it easy. This can go a long way in undoing muscular tension and unwinding knots that may be causing unevenness. Find other ways to release shoulder muscle knots by reading our tips.

b. Hot Bath

A hot bath can do wonders to reduce tension and alleviate stress, which can contribute to uneven shoulders.

c. Ice and Heating Pads

The application of cold compresses and heating pads can not only reduce tension but also serve to reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation makes it easier to work on the muscles while eliminating tension, encouraging blood to flow into the region, and stimulating healing.

d. Exercise

I listed several exercises above; anyone can try them. However, before you start any new exercise program, it is best to consult a medical professional first. You want to ensure you do the exercises correctly without overdoing it.

Uneven Shoulders and Scoliosis

Some kinds of uneven shoulders may be more challenging to treat than others. For example, uneven shoulders caused by scoliosis are probably one of the most difficult. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that current medicine can’t cure. However, it can be managed. Addressing scoliosis through chiropractic care requires a chiropractor trained in a specific branch of scoliosis-specific chiropractic care. Not all chiropractors are so trained.

There is evidence, though, that scoliosis-specific chiropractic care is effective. A case study in the National Library of Medicine describes a scoliotic 12-year-old girl treated with chiropractic measures over six months. Although not cured, the girl’s scoliosis improved significantly. Her Cobb angle (a spine deformity measure) improved by 6% in the thoracic curve and 7% in the lumbar curve.

That is strong evidence in support of the effectiveness of chiropractic care.

The Causes of Uneven Shoulders

The causes of uneven shoulders are pretty varied. They include poor posture, habitual use of or favoring of one shoulder over the other, diseases like scoliosis, a pinched nerve in a shoulder, or some other injury.

In young individuals, particularly athletes, overdoing it in sports like tennis, football, baseball, and volleyball can cause a pinched nerve, which in turn can lead to uneven shoulders.


Uneven shoulder is a condition that, if not treated, can cause significant pain and can get progressively worse over time. As experts in the musculoskeletal system, a chiropractor is uniquely suited to help patients deal with uneven shoulders. They can diagnose and recommend treatments that are conservative and non-invasive. Finding an excellent chiropractor is an excellent place to start if you want to fix your uneven shoulders.