The band of muscles found along your shoulders, neck, and upper back is known as your trapezius. This area of the body can be triggered by both too much activity and not enough, making trapezius pain and spasms very common. If you are suffering from trap and neck pain, there are many things you can do to alleviate your symptoms and avoid issues moving forward.
The trapezius has a series of trigger points that are raised parts of the muscle. They can feel like knots along your back, neck, and shoulders. Trapezius pain stems from two types of trigger points:
Both inactivity and overuse of your trapezius can cause trap and neck pain. You may experience a trapezius spasm due to:
With so many different ways to trigger trapezius pain, it may feel overwhelming on how to find relief. A good starting point is to take notice of when you experience pain and what activities (or lack thereof) came before it. If you notice trapezius spasms at the end of every work day, you may need to adjust your desk or workstation to be more comfortable and supportive, or incorporate more movement throughout the day. Experts recommend getting up from your desk at least once an hour. Likewise, if your pain shows up after a vigorous workout or activity, you may need to slow down.
In addition to these lifestyle changes, working on your posture will always benefit your body and can help lessen the effects of trap and neck pain. To treat discomfort in the moment, you can try:
Physical therapy is a great treatment for trapezius spasms because it not only helps alleviate current discomfort but also teaches you movements and exercises to keep yourself healthy moving forward. A physical therapist can pinpoint the cause of your trapezius muscle pain and come up with customized treatment plans based on your exact symptoms.
Trapezius pain is very common, and the team at IMPACT Physical Therapy is well equipped to get you back to pain-free movement. We are your Chicagoland physical therapy experts, so request an appointment to get started!