Trapezius Pain

image001Trapezius muscles are commonly overused and carry the majority of the stress that your body is under. Through stretching, massages, and therapy, your traps and neck can be relieved of spasms and the kind of tightness that leads to a great amount of pain. Important, though, is to fully understand the causes of the problem as well as the remedies.

Causes of Trapezius Pain




Stress causes you to tense your body. Once you start to stress, your shoulders will tense up and you will soon start feeling the pain in the trapezius area.


Activities and exercises which rely on trapezius muscles such as playing piano, violin, bicycling and backpacking can cause pain in this area. Right postures and stretching may prevent trapezius pain.

Tight Bra Straps

For women, having a bra that is too tight will cause back pain, mainly in the trapezius area. If this could be the problem, have an expert measure you to make sure that you have the proper size and fit.

Too High Keyboard

Keyboard height causes a variety of posture problems, but trapezius pain in particular. If your desk is too low, or your chair too high, a keyboard shelf can easily solve this issue.

Too Much Phone Time

If you carry your phone on your shoulder, pinched by your head, you are operating hands-free, but are causing neck and back pain as well. Don’t be afraid to hold your phone, or otherwise purchase a headset.

Heavy Bags

Heavy bags can cause a lot of back pain. Switch your purse from one shoulder to the other if that is the problem.

Hanging Head

Many people walk with their head forward, which throws your posture out of order. Sit up straight, keep shoulders down and head back.

Sleeping Postures

When you sleep on your back or stomach, it is easy to keep your head to one side. This stretches out one side of trapezius and will give you pain sensation.


Breastfeeding might only be an issue with women, but it is a leading cause of trapezius pain. Do not hunch forward when you are breastfeeding.

Remedies for Trapezius Pain

Ice or Heat

Heating and cooling your body parts is a great way to alleviate tightness and pain. Ice will help to constrict blood vessels and stop inflammation and swelling, and stop spasms that create the cycle of pain. Heat is saved for a couple of days after injuries, or before you are at risk for them. If you need to simply relax your muscles, this is great and can help you stretch and avoid future pain.

Home Massage

1. Lie Down. When you lie down, all you need to do is gently knead the muscles that are giving you trouble. Make sure that while you do this, though, you place your head on a pillow that will keep your spine straight.

image0022. Using Tools. There are two common tools to massage your back, a tennis ball and a body back buddy. With a tennis ball, you simply have to place it under your trapezius and lie down. Alternatively, you can squeeze the ball between your trapezius and a door frame. Similarly, a body back buddy will help you to massage the portions of your trapezius that hurt, but without lying down or having to reach all the way around.

Office Exercises

These are exercises that you can easily perform at your desk and will help alleviate tension that has already built up and prevent future pain. Perform each of these about 20 times and you can do a lot to help your trapezius pain.

1. Pinch Scapular. To perform scapular pinches, you simply have to roll back your shoulders to push your shoulder blades together. Many people are so tense that they can’t even come close!

2. Shrug Shoulder. Shoulder shrugs are just what you think they are. Raise your shoulders up to your ears and lower them back down.

3. Side-Bend Neck. Holding your phone with your shoulder is unhealthy, but performing a stretch in that way is great. Move your head from left to right, touching your ear to your shoulder.

4. Rotate Neck. Neck rotations are essentially looking one way and then the other. Look right, pause, then look left.


1. Seated Forward Bend. A seated forward bend will work to stretch the lower trapezius. This is the easiest way to take care of this area. Simply sit down and reach forward to your toes, moving through your hips. Even if you can’t reach your toes, work to stretch more and more as time passes.

2. Head to Knee Pose. The head to knee pose works the same area, but is more common as part of a yoga practice. Once you sit down, one leg is bent and the foot is placed against the opposite thigh. Now you can reach forward and get a much deeper stretch, but you will have to work up to this one.

Here is a video for other yoga practices

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