The trapezius muscle, which covers a large surface of your upper back, is often the source of pain among a lot of people nowadays. What’s more, problems with the trapezius muscle may cause headaches, pain in the neck and stiff neck, or pain in the shoulder blades area.
Unfortunately, we are often responsible for this state due to our sedentary lifestyle, poor body posture, and lack of physical activity. If you feel pain in the trapezius muscle, read the article and learn what the most common symptoms and causes of this type of pain and how you can get rid of the problem.
Where Is The Trapezius Muscle
The trapezius muscle, which is a major muscle of your upper back, consists of the upper, middle and lower part. The upper part starts with the cervical spine and runs to the collarbone. The middle part runs from the first four of the thoracic vertebras to the acromion. The lower part covers the rest of the thoracic spine and runs to the scapula.
The trapezius muscle plays a very important role in your body as it makes you move, rotate, and stabilize your shoulder blade, also known as scapula. The upper part of this muscle is responsible for raising your arms as it pulls the shoulder blades upwards and outwards. Also, thanks to this part of the trapezius muscle you can rotate your head to the both sides.
The middle part is responsible for retracting the scapula while the lower part is in charge of depressing the scapula. Of course, all the parts of your trapezius muscle cooperate with one another to support and stabilize the movement of your spine and shoulder blades.
Symptoms of Trapezius Muscle Pain
As the trapezius muscle is so large and has so many functions, the strains and injuries to this part of your body are very common. Any strains or injuries of the trapezius muscle may result in a number of unpleasant symptoms.
Of course, the obvious symptom which you may experience is pain in your upper back. It often intensifies when you try to perform some movements which require the work from your shoulder blades. As a result, it may lead to a limited range of movements in this area.
It often happens that what you feel cannot be described as pain, but rather as a tingling sensation or numbness around the trapezius muscle. In other cases you may experience stiffness in your shoulders and neck, or weakness in your arms.
The affected area may also be swollen or warm and you can experience muscle spasms. However, the trapezius muscle may also be the source of other symptoms, which you would never associate with your back. For example, you may suffer from headaches, especially at the base of the skull, in your temples, or behind your eyes.
What’s more, because of the problems with the trapezius muscle you can have concentration difficulties or it may be hard for you to sleep well. Consequently, the trapezius muscle issues may lead to anxiety and a bad mood.
What Are The Causes of Trapezius Muscle Pain
Pain and all the other unpleasant symptoms connected with the trapezius muscle are usually connected with our unhealthy lifestyle. Bad habits, poor body posture, stress, and lack of physical activities are the main culprits of problems with this body part.
1. Too Much Stress
One might say that stress accumulates in your upper back. The more stressed you are, the more tensed and tightened your muscles get and that mainly refers to your trapezius muscle. It is mostly the case if you feel stiffness, tingling, pain, or other symptoms only from time to time.
Try to observe your body and check if the problems with your trapezius muscle appear mainly after some stressful events or periods in your life. If this is the issue, a massage or a hot bath may fantastically relax your stiff muscles.
2. Pulled Muscles or Injuries
If you had moved one of your muscles too quickly or too intensely, you could have probably pulled it. As a result you may feel severe pain while moving and a limited range of movements. A traumatic injury may also be the culprit of pain of the trapezius muscle.
What’s more, the trauma could happen to your head, but your trapezius muscle might have been affected as well. In such a case, for sure resting for a few days or even weeks is recommended and if the pain still does not want to go away, you will probably need to have an x-ray done.
3. Poor Body Posture
You may not even be aware of your poor body posture while walking, sitting, or standing. If your body position is bad every day for long years, it is not a surprise that you have problems with your trapezius muscle.