Trapped in Pain?
The trapezius muscle is the muscle that most commonly has trigger points and tension in it. Trigger points in the upper trapezius can cause headaches, neck aches, and even toothaches. When someone has neck and shoulder pain it is commonly coming from the trapezius, levator scapulae, and infraspinatus. You may want to check out the rhomboid as well.
Trigger points in the lower trap can cause soreness at the base of the skull and also at the top of the shoulder blades as well as a burning type of 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.
What Is A Trigger Point?
A trigger point is a knot in the muscle. It’s a painful area of tight muscle fibers. Usually, the knot will have one of these characteristics to be considered a trigger point: causes referred pain to another area, has a twitch reflex, or causes severe pain upon compression
Why Does the Trapezius Get Tight?
The biggest thing responsible for trapezius pain is sitting in an unsupported, tense position. This will cause burning trapezius pain down your upper back. To fix this problem you must sit with proper back support, the right height of armrests, the right height of a keyboard, and take frequent breaks to move your shoulders. Every joint should be at 90 degrees.
Some other things that can cause trapezius pain 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 trigger points 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 a massage appointment today!
If you have rounded shoulders or a forward head position, you likely have trigger points in the upper trapezius. So there are a few things you will need to work on. First stretching the trapezius to increase your range of motion, second stretching the pectoralis, and third strengthening the trapezius. These are covered in the videos below.
How to Fix Trapezius Muscle Pain
Do not sleep on a rubber pillow.
Do not get intensely preoccupied with what you are doing so you forget to move! This can definitely tighten up your trapezius muscles and also your neck muscles.
Lean back against your chair.
Use the right keyboard and armrest height. Using the wrong height will lead to poor posture and make you experience neck pain.
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.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Do not wear a too-tight bra. This digs into your shoulders causing trapezius pain and muscle strain.
Jump rope or swim instead of jog. Jogging can make you tighten your shoulders causing muscle spasms.
Use some sort of elbow rest when the arms must be held out in front of you for a long time.
If the trapezius is causing you burning pain, get a massage or cupping to help with the muscle strain and tightness! We specialize in therapeutic massage. Come see us before you make a physical therapy appointment!