Chiropractor Questions Shoulder Injuries And Disorders

My left shoulder is broader than the right. Is this a growth problem?

Until now I never noticed this, but as I started gymming, I observed that my left shoulder is broader than my right shoulder. Is this normal or is it a growth defect that I am suffering with? Can it be corrected in any way?

34 Answers

“Broader” is a broad term. If you’ve been gymming it, you may have developed musculature in an unproportioned way, creating a broader look. If you’re concerned with a birth defect, definitely consult your doctor.
A very interesting finding. While I have seen this, it is not common. My first thought is to discover why the muscular formation is so different on that smaller right side. Is it congenital? Is it circulation, and/or nerve innervation? Is it related to past injury? There is always a reason. The doctor/clinician needs to find it. And yes, in most cases we will see marked improvements and/or complete restoration
I would have that checked. You may have a mild to moderate scoliosis that can give the visual affects of one shoulder looking broader due to spinal shift. If that is the case, depending on the degree and type of scoliosis, it may be correctable or at least reduced.
Depends, only an exam and X-rays can tell
It could be an anatomical anomaly for you or it could be that the muscles are bigger on one side than the other. This is common when we use one side of our body more than the other. With an assessment we could evaluate if this needed to be corrected or was your normal physiology.

In Health,
Dr. Jodie Schultz
I doubt if this is a growth defect unless you have been told you have a condition called "cleidocranial dysostosis." It is diagnosed with an x-ray and your shoulder would dislocate easily.
Also, it could be that you broke your collar bone (clavicle in doctor talk) years ago and it did not heal properly.
Barring those two issues, it is a biomechanical problem (how your joints and muscles work together) from working one side harder than the other, postural issues due to ergonomics (how your desk and computer is set up) of your work place or an injury from years ago.
I recommend a proper examination by a chiropractor to diagnose what is going on and correct it. Over the years this imbalance could lead to arthritis in that shoulder.
Without seeing it and without examination I’m uncertain of the cause of this. It could be a developmental issue. However, I have seen it’s more associated with nerve impingement that has been unnoticed until your body has been challenged like hitting the gym. A functional examination via orthopedic and neurological test will provide a better insight.
The answer is that you are experiencing more growth on the left which is normal and can be fixed.
I wouldn't worry about asymmetry of the body. It is a good thing to have a qualified upper cervical chiropractor evaluate you for a twisted spine.  

Dr. Philip R. Schalow 
Shoulder imbalances ---see a chiropractor
I doubt it is a growth but I would encourage you to see your general medical practitioner to rule out any serious conditions.
Very hard to determine without X-rays, without knowing your age, when you became aware of the asymmetry..... Also, nobody on the planet is totally symmetrical bilaterally. I would start with a simple visit to an orthopedist and get an Xray and start there. Hope that helps. Got your back! Dr Todd Gewant
I would suggest a physical exam to assess said condition and how it relates to your upper torso
That is a great question. Without properly taking a look at the function, mobility and perhaps and x-rays I would not be able to confirm nor deny. Best option is to make an appointment and come in to get it checked. Appointments can be made at
Your shoulder most likely appears more broad from a muscular imbalance OR a postural abnormality. If one pec muscle is tighter, that shoulder pulls forward and hangs lower, concurrently- if one trap is tighter or deltoid is tighter, that shoulder will sit higher due to muscle tone. Go get a massage and see if your therapist can figure it out, after that if it is still off, go see a physical therapist or a Rolfer. ;-)
How old are you? Structural symmetry is over-rated. Functional symmetry is more important. Are you much weaker in one shoulder?
It is probably muscle imbalances due to the strength training. Unless there is unusual pain or restricted motion, nothing to worry about. However, to ensure any issues down the road, you should have some soft tissue work to regain proper balance of the muscles.
It isn't normal usually but it may be normal for you. I would recommend you schedule a consultation so we may examine you to determine your best course of action. Please feel free to contact us at 281 557 5525 for a consultation.
That would require a more in-depth look by a professional. A chiropractor could x-ray you and may have suggestions on how to correct any misalignment in the shoulder, thoracic spine (midback), and/or scapula. It is a very real possibility that you shoulder blade appears to be broader due to improper biomechanical alignment that rotates that broader shoulder blade inward.

This finding would need to be visually evaluated to determine if there is any pathology involved. Depending on your age and findings, it may or may not be correctable and may not have any issues associated with it.
There are many reasons why your left shoulder is bigger than the right. It could be genetic or developmental. The best way to find out is to visit your local chiropractor for a complete evaluation.

Dr. Wil
Best to have spinal check for scoliosis.

Two types, 1. functional or 2. structural. Usually ruled out with xrays and orthopedic text.

Correction depends on the degree of curve. 10-15 degrees still a chiropractic patient. Beyond that I would refer to orthopedic physician to monitor curve and determine plan of care.

Most people will notice one shoulder, hip higher than the other. Some rib humping, clothing not even when wearing.
IE: shirts, shirts, etc.

If its ruled out, no scoliosis. I would modify your work out routine. Strengthen the opposite side and stretch muscles on dominate side.

Could be a result of right sided atrophy or weakness due to a neurological issue

Most likely it is not a growth problem. It could be several things, but your rib cage could be off center causing one side to appear broader. Are you left handed or do a day to day activity that causes you to use your left shoulder more? That could cause extra muscle built on that side.

I would really have to do an evaluation to see it there was any cause for concern, but most likely it is nothing to worry about.

Thank you
I am not sure if you mean that your left shoulder is thicker, higher or wider than the right. Also, not knowing your age it's hard for me to give an opinion. I don't see the harm of getting it check out to see if it's postural, muscle imbalances or something else.
It depends on how big is the difference. Having asymmetries in size from one side of the body to the other is common. If is due to improper exercise may be easier to work with. Try getting a medical evaluation.
A couple of factors need consideration. Congenital developmental defects, injury history and non-pathological shoulder morphology, to name a few. Visual observation and orthopedic evaluation would be beneficial. If there are no contributory medical factors then the size difference could simply be a normal variant. A Certified Trainer would be able to suggest training methods and techniques to address the size difference.
This is hard to determine without an examination. Congratulations on your healthy lifestyle, adding regular exercise is very beneficial.
Nobody is perfectly symmetrical, however, many times having a series of gentle chiropractic and PT visits will improve postural imbalances.
Warm regards,
Melissa Perotti, DC
Thank you for your question. Often broader shoulders on one side over the other are determined by our handedness. If you are left handed, the development of one side over the other can happen. This can also be a repetitive injury that is causing your left shoulder to function differently resulting in a varied appearance from your right shoulder. It is recommended that you see a doctor to have it evaluate by a chiropractor as they specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. They can determine what is going on, what the best course of treatment is (if any is needed) and help potential future problems from developing as you progress in gymnastics.
With out seeing you in person it would be hard to tell. If it is on your dominant side it is more than likely over training on your stronger side. it can be corrected by using unilateral exercises on the weaker side.
The human body is typically symmetrical with some slight variance; an injury to a growth plate while a bone is still growing can cause a difference in the final length of the same bone left and right of the body. However, muscle imbalance can create the illusion of asymmetry between left and right. It is possible you have more developed muscles on one side versus the other. A quick posture evaluation by a chiropractor or physical therapist can help you determine what you are actually seeing.
This is an anatomical problem that needs to be addressed by a physical examination and possibly an X-Ray Series to determine the cause.
As we grow, no one is the same and usually arm or feet are slightly different. If there is a restriction within the shoulder girdle, this can be corrected and most often can be a postural issue, unless noted as a deformity.
Hard to answer this without seeing you? If your dominant arm is used more than your nondominant arm, your surrounding musculature could be more developed. Exercise your weaker side more. Get adjusted, in case there's an irritated nerve inhibiting muscle growth.