The trapezius

Is an important muscle of the back, which is divided into three parts: the upper, middle and lower trapezius. The upper trapezius extends from the neck to the upper back, the middle trapezius extends from the upper back to the mid back and the lower trapezius goes from the mid back to the lower back. Each part has a specific function in the mobility and stability of the back.

As physical therapists, it is important that we understand the anatomy of the trapezius and how we can help our patients treat injuries and problems related to this muscle. In this blog post, we will discuss common problems that can arise, how to prevent them, treatment techniques we can use and exercises we can perform with our patients.

What are the most common problems and their respective treatments?

Although it is a very strong and resilient muscle, it is often affected by factors such as daily stress and strain, which can lead to a number of health problems. Below, we will look at some of the most common problems and how they can be treated.

Starting with one of the most common, we have pain in the upper back and shoulders. The most common cause of this pain is muscle tension due to poor posture, overuse or lack of exercise. Treatment for this problem includes physiotherapy, which may include massage, stretching, strengthening exercises and relaxation techniques.

Other problems that may be causing tension in the trapezius muscles are neck stiffness and head and arm pain. The latter can occur due to the pressure the muscle puts on the nerves that extend from the neck to the arm. Physiotherapy can help relieve neck stiffness and arm pain with massage and stretching of the neck and shoulders. It can also relieve headache pain through massage and relaxation techniques.

On the other hand, rounded shoulders are also another common consequence of tension. This can occur due to poor posture and lack of physical activity. Physiotherapy can help correct rounded shoulders by strengthening and stretching exercises for these muscles.

How can we prevent problems?

Due to causes such as a sedentary lifestyle or poor posture, many people may experience pain or stiffness. Here are some tips to prevent trapezius problems:

The first is to maintain good posture as poor posture can put undue strain on the neck and back muscles, which can lead to tension in the trapezius. To avoid this, it is important to keep your shoulders down and back, your neck in line with your spine and avoid slouching. In addition, if you work in an office or spend a lot of time sitting, it would be advisable to adjust your chair and desk for correct posture, take frequent breaks to get up and move around and make use of a lumbar support to keep your back straight.

Another tip is to do stretching exercises because, as mentioned above, stretching exercises can help relieve tension in the trapezius. So stretching the shoulders and neck slowly to loosen the muscles and including neck rotation exercises and neck stretches is an excellent way to prevent trapezius problems.

On the other hand, strengthening the muscles of the neck and upper back can help prevent trapezius strain, so incorporate strengthening exercises into your exercise routine, such as weight lifting or resistance band exercises.

In conclusion, preventing trapezius problems is crucial to maintaining good posture and avoiding pain and discomfort in the neck and upper back. With these tips, you can take care of your trapezius and improve your quality of life.

Examples of exercises to work it

In this section we will discuss exercises to strengthen and improve the mobility, but before we begin the exercises, it is important to understand the function. This muscle extends from the base of the skull to the top of the spine and into the shoulders. The trapezius is responsible for lifting, depressing, rotating and adducting the shoulders, making it essential in many everyday activities such as lifting, pushing and pulling.

Physiotherapy is an effective way to treat these problems, it can include massage, stretching, strengthening exercises and relaxation techniques.

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