What is the problem with my trapezius?

Who has not felt tightness, discomfort, pain and/or limitation in the area from the middle of the back to the neck and the area from the shoulder to the neck?

Surely, everyone or almost everyone at some point in our lives has noticed some discomfort in that area. Whether in times of more stress, due to family or work loads, exams, or simply adverse situations, awkward postures or also by overuse or overexertion of the muscles that occupy these areas when practicing sport or at work.

The trapezius is the largest muscle found in this area, it is triangular in shape and extends from the base of the neck along the spine to the thoracic vertebra T12 and will insert in the acromion, in the shoulder. It is divided in different fibres: the upper ones which are responsible for raising and rotating the scapula upwards and extending the neck, the medial fibres that adduct or bring closer the scapula to the midline of the body and the lower ones that descend and also rotate upwards the scapula.

Besides having discomfort in the trapezius muscle itself, the pain is usually located and is referred to the shoulders, neck, temporal area, base of the skull and between the shoulder blades.

There are several predisposing factors and causes for these symptoms:

- Stress: by adopting a kyphotic posture and hunched back, shoulders come closer to the ears eliciting the trapezius excessively during long periods of time.

- Forward head posture: due to stresses caused by poor posture, muscle imbalance is produced favouring the head to go forward increasing the tension which certain muscles around the neck, head and back area are subjected to.

- Long phone conversations holding it between the ear and the shoulder.

- Carrying a too heavy bag or backpack

- Bras that are too tight in the area between shoulder and neck

- Sitting at work on chairs without armrests

- Using a keyboard that is positioned too high up, causes us to shrug our shoulders

- Playing the violin, piano, cycling and other activities that require excessive or prolonged involvement of the trapezius

To solve these discomforts physical activity is recommended, either specific for these muscles or general conditioning. Thus increased blood flow to this muscle is achieved and certain neurotransmitters or transport biomolecules that trigger reactions in our body associated with painful experiences or well-being, such as endorphins, which you have probably heard of are released if you practice sport.

Another way to treat these annoyances that often manifest themselves in the way of contractures or trigger points is to use 3TOOL as a tool to apply compression on these painful spots or areas. In addition you can use it at home with your physiotherapist's previous tips on its use. On the website you can find numerous exercises showing how to perform each exercise in a clear and concise way with all the necessary information.

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