Trapezius strain is one of the most common causes
of trapezius muscle pain in the neck and upper back.

Trapezius injuries often affect women, especially women who work
in an office or at a desk, and do repetitive reaching and lifting types of jobs.






"exacerbated by stress, anxiety, or mental strain"

This type of pain can also occur with a whiplash injury. Any whiplash neck injury needs to be evaluated by a back pain specialist and the neck pain treatment will probably include exercises for your trapezius pain.

"trapezius muscle pain is easy to treat with a few basic exercises"

Fortunately, the back pain treatments for trapezius muscle pain are easy to understand and simple to do. A few gentle stretches can often bring quick relief, and a neck pain treatment program that combines stretching with a few light strengthening exercises can make your pain a thing of the past.

Aching and Stiffness

Upper back pain from a trapezius strain is often described as aching and stiffness at the base of the neck. The pain may radiate out into the shoulders, up into the neck, or down into the upper back.

Image thanks to Anatomography via Wikimedia Commons


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Some people may develop a tender knot within the muscle known as a trigger point. These are similar to a spasm, but limited to a small area within the larger muscle.

Symptoms may be worse later in the day, and exacerbated by stress, anxiety, or mental strain. You may notice relief of your trapezius muscle pain on weekends and other times when you are away from the normal office routine.

"easier to understand when we consider the anatomy."

The causes of trapezius pain are often some combination of repetitive reaching, poor ergonomics, and deconditioning. A neck pain treatment program is easier to understand when we consider the anatomy.

The trapezius muscle is a large flat muscle that covers the upper back, shoulders and neck. Each side has attachments along the thoracic and cervical spines, and at the point of your shoulder and outer third of the collarbone. It lies just under the skin and over the top of the rhomboid and latissimus dorsi muscles on each side of the spine.

The Trapezius Model

Shows you the Trapezius Muscle
and its Attachments

The narration with these videos is more technical than we need for this discussion, but this trapezius model posted on youtube does an excellent job of showing you the trapezius muscle and its attachments.

The trapezius muscle acts to hold the shoulders and head back, and it tips the head side to side. When the head and shoulders are hunched forward over a keyboard or desk the trapezius muscle is strained or stretched.

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" When the head and shoulders are hunched forward... "

When you reach, your shoulder moves forward. Then, when you lift and pull back, it is the trapezius that pulls your shoulder back. Such repetitive moves, if done too often or with too much weight, will often lead to trapezius strain.

"The secret to preventing or avoiding trapezius strain..." 

The secret to curing trapezius strain can be found with rest and a few simple stretches. The best neck pain treatment is to prevent or avoid trapezius pain with some easy exercises to strengthen the muscle and finding ways to adjust your activities and ergonomics.

When your pain is acute, or when you already have trapezius pain, chronic neck pain treatment begins with finding a way to rest the muscle. Continuing to strain the muscle will only make your symptoms worse.

"go easy when your pain is severe"

For relief of neck pain you may need to change the way your office is arranged, reach with your other arm, or find something else to work on for awhile. These gentle stretches will also help acute pain, but be careful and go easy when your pain is severe. After a little rest, when your pain is somewhat subsided, your neck pain treatments can slowly progress with more aggressive stretches.

Discover More about Your Trapezius Strain:

Trapezius Stretching And Strengthening Exercises



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