The trapezius muscle is a major muscles found in the upper back and on either side of the spine. Surprisingly, it’s also one of the muscles that has a lot of trigger points due to tightness and TMJ problems. Trigger points in the trapezius muscle can cause the following symptoms
- Back of Head Pain
- Back of Neck Pain
- Cheek Pain (like Sinusitis)
- Headaches or Migraines
- Mid-Thoracic Back Pain
- Problems Holding Arms Up (as when folding sheets)
- Temple and Eyebrow Pain
- Temporal Headache (Temples)
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)
- Upper Thoracic Back Pain
- Back of Shoulder Pain
Cause of trigger points in the trapezius muscle
There are multiple causes of trigger points in the trapezius muscles
Stress: Being stressed out can result in the shoulder muscles tightening up and hence referring pain to other parts of the body
Bad posture: Sitting or standing improperly can result in extreme stress on the spine and shoulder muscles resulting in trigger points and pain
Pressure due to backpacks or loads : Heavy pressure on the shoulder muscles due to heavy or imbalanced loads can put pressure on the traps resulting in pain
TMJ problems : TMJ dysfunction can result in the jaw joint being out of sync putting pressure on the neck and the traps.
Holding positions: Maintaining unusual or awkward standing or sitting positions can lead to pain in the traps.The trapezius trigger points can also refer satellite trigger points to the infamous SCM muscle, the temporalis muscle and even the Masseter muscle. Hence resolving the trapezius trigger points is very important.
Trigger point release and stretch
It’s better to do a two step process to release tight trap muscles. The first step would involve trigger point therapy using a trigger point ball. The second step would involve stretching it out which is the second video.
Heat is also a great way to release tension in your trap muscles. I strongly recommend getting this one since it covers the of the trap muscles and part of the neck as well.