Trapezius Muscle Pain In Women
Chapter 2 How to Fix It

Most Common Causes of Trapezius Muscle Pain
"Poor Posture, Poor Ergonomics, and Mental Stress"






Trapezius muscle pain is often from a repetitive strain injury. Common causes are repetitive motion, deconditioning, and overuse.

These types of injuries are often complicated by poor posture, poor ergonomics, and mental stress.

A recent review of the literature found two Danish surveys, one of which found that more than half of female office workers frequently reported neck pain.

The other survey found that more than two-thirds of female office workers who reported neck pain suffered from trapezius myalgia.

The Journal of Applied Physiology recently published the results of another Danish study that compared the benefits of three separate treatments for trapezius myalgia:

  • 1. Specific strength-training exercises for the upper back and trapezius muscles.
  • 2. General conditioning exercises on an upright stationary bicycle.
  • 3. Group counseling on ergonomics, diet, health, relaxation and stress management.

Your Trapezius Muscles

Image thanks to Anamotography via Wikimedia Commons


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"showed a 50% reduction in pain"

All participants were women who had reported chronic or frequent pain in the neck area, and tightness and tenderness of the upper trapezius muscle

This study showed a 50% reduction in pain with the specific strength-training exercises. The general conditioning group and the groups that receive counseling showed no significant reduction in pain.

The strength-training group included 18 women who did five exercises with dumbbells.

One-arm Row         Shoulder Abduction         Shoulder Elevation

                Reverse Fly                     Upright Row

These women did three sets of three of each of these exercises three times per week. The amount of weight depended on each woman’s strength and was gradually increased through the study.

"see pictures of how to do these exercises"

You can see pictures of how to do these exercises at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment website at:

National Research Centre for the Working Environment Trapezius Strengthening Exercises

Other strengthening exercises that you can do are demonstrated on these videos:

Trapezius Strengthening Exercises

When doing any of the strengthening exercises you should start off easy with lightweights, or no weights, and progress the repetitions and the weight as you grow stronger.

"gentle stretches to warm up the muscles"

Stretching exercises are also helpful to relieve stress and relax tight muscles. Doing a few gentle stretches to warm up the muscles is always a good idea before you begin the strengthening exercises.

These videos demonstrate some useful stretching exercises that you can do. Remember to start off easy and slowly increase the time and amount of stretching after you see how it feels

Stretching the Upper and Lower Trapezius

"an easy beginning that should yield immediate results"

Understanding the causes of trapezius muscle pain can help you know how to relieve your symptoms. Gentle stretching exercises to relieve stress and loosen tight muscles are an easy beginning that can yield immediate results.

More permanent relief can be obtained, by combining the stretches with exercises to strengthen the trapezius muscle, and improve your posture. Relieving stress when you can, and improving the ergonomics where you spend your time, will also help to relieve trapezius muscle pain.

"useful techniques for relieving trapezius myalgia"

Other useful techniques for relieving trapezius myalgia may include massage and stress management techniques such as meditation, aromatherapy, and cardiovascular exercise.



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