Monthly Muscle: Trapezius
The trapezius, often known as the “traps”, is a large muscle that occupies 2/3 of your back. Divided into three parts, the trapezius muscle has a variety of actions that help move your neck, shoulder blade and spine. This muscle has a tendency to be out of balance due to our typical western posture: hunched over a computer for hours a day. Today we will learn about the upper part of the muscle: what it does, why it hurts, how to help it. Check in soon for the next segment on the middle and lower trapezius!
Upper Trapezius: That pain in your neck.
Actions – Bends head to side, extends head back, rotates head to opposite side.
Common pain culprit – Head forward posture and hiked-up shoulders.
Many clients will exclaim that their shoulders are “hard as rocks”. What you are really feeling are the tensed fibers of the upper trapezius muscle that can’t relax back to their normal resting tension. This is primarily caused by overexerting the fibers. You might also experience neck pain or headaches. The headache is caused by the upper trapezius trigger point, which has a referral pattern that wraps behind and above the ear like a question mark.
The fix? Reduce ‘knots’ and correct postural imbalances
Rolling on a ball, self-massage, chin tucks, neck and shoulder stretches
Ask your therapist on your next visit to show you a postural correction routine tailored for your needs.