Trapped in Pain?

The Trapezius

The trapezius (trap) muscle is the muscle that most commonly has trigger points (trpts) and tension in it. Trpts in the upper trap can cause headaches, neck aches, and even tooth aches. When someone has neck and shoulder pain it is commonly from the trap, levator scapulae and infraspinatus.

Trpts in the lower trap can cause a soreness at the base of the skull and top of the shoulder as well as a burning type pain between the scapula and spine.

The trapezius is responsible, along with other muscles, for elevation, depression and adduction of the scapula as well as extension of the head, cervical and thoracic spine.

The  biggest thing responsible for trpts in the trap is sitting in a unsupported, tense position. To fix this problem you must sit with proper back support, the right height of arm rests, the right height of keyboard and take frequent breaks to move your shoulders.

Some other things that can cause trpts in the trap are heavy clothing, such as a misfitting overcoat or a heavy purse or a bra strap, sudden trauma like falling off a horse or down stairs or a car accident. A small hemipelvis or  different leg lengths can cause or perpetuate trpts here because of the constant tilt of the shoulder girdle. Being anxious, long telephone calls, playing the violin, a high keyboard, a cane that is too long. armrests that are too high, constant flicking of the hair out of the face or a heavy backpack will all make you need a massage!

If you tend to cross your arms, cradle your chin in your hand or put your hands in your pockets for relief. Schedule an appointment today!


If you have rounded shoulders or forward head position, you likely have trpts in the trap and there are a few things you will need to work on. First stretching the trap, second stretching the pectoralis, third strengthening the trap. All are covered in the videos below.


Now for the fixes.

Do not sleep on a rubber pillow.

Do not get intensely preoccupied with what you are doing so you forget to move!

Lean back against your chair.

Use the right keyboard and armrest height.

Use a speaker phone.

Hold the steering wheel at the bottom with the forearm resting on the thigh.

Do not do the Justin Beiber hair flick.

Do not sleep on your stomach.

Do not wear a too tight bra.

Jump rope or swim instead of jog.

Use some sort of elbow rest when the arms must be held out in front of you for a long time.

Get massage or cupping!