The Trapezius Muscle
The Trapezius muscle is the large kite shaped muscle of the upper back. It attaches to our upper neck and the skull just above it, comes down and out to the tip of our shoulders and then tapers back in to attach to the spine in the mid back. Due to its positioning it can affect shoulder, neck and scapular posture.
In humans you can often tell a lot about a person by their body language. The classic stressed or anxious body position is shoulders rising protectively towards the ears and the head dropping forwards. I think it is one posture we can all relate to at one time or another. Now if this position is held for any length of time or repeated frequently it can cause some problems.
The rising of the shoulders leads those fibers of the Trapezius getting shorter and tenser. When muscles get tight trigger points can often form in the muscle. Trigger points are hyperirritable, tight knots that can often refer pain away from its location. Trigger points in the Trapezius often refer into the base of the skull, towards the temple or down into the arm and are usually more intense if you are applying pressure to the muscle. However, while it might be uncomfortable applying pressure to the trigger points is one technique used to treat them.
The other problem with a stressed body posture is the head leaning forwards. This can put a lot of tension through the neck and upper Trapezius muscle, which in turn can cause tension headaches at the back of the skull where the muscle is pulling on the connective tissue encapsulating the head.
Massage, osteopathy and acupuncture are all brilliant ways of improving posture and releasing tension to help prevent trigger points and headaches forming. One of the most effective things you can do is to learn to recognise when your shoulders are sitting higher than they ought to be. Often our shoulders start to rise with us being unaware, but as soon as you think about it you can actively relax the muscles and let your shoulders fall. Exercise, as well as mindfulness techniques are other great ways to manage stress and the physical impact it can have on your body.
If you feel your Trapezius muscle needs some attention then contact us today on 0203 757 6544 to see how we can help
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