What Are the Causes of Trapezius Muscle Pain?

The muscles in the upper back that tighten most frequently are called the Trapezius muscle. Trapezius muscle is used to help support the neck and allow the side ways movement of the head as well as shoulder movement. Knowing the causes of trapezius muscle pain can help us prevent from future discomforts relating to upper back areas. The upper back muscles are a common site of tension, when these muscles become tight they can cause neck pain and stiffness as much as upper back pain. They can also be a sign that lower back pain is increasing. Trapezius muscle pain often feels like an aching or burning sensation between the shoulder blades, but it may also extend from the base of the skull.

The muscles in the upper back that tighten most frequently are called the Trapezius muscle. Trapezius muscle is used to help support the neck and allow the side ways movement of the head as well as shoulder movement. Knowing the causes of trapezius muscle pain can help us prevent from future discomforts relating to upper back areas.

The upper back muscles are a common site of tension, when these muscles become tight they can cause neck pain and stiffness as much as upper back pain. They can also be a sign that lower back pain is increasing. Trapezius muscle pain often feels like an aching or burning sensation between the shoulder blades, but it may also extend from the base of the skull.

The trapezius muscle is divided into 3 areas:

  1. Upper fibers
  2. Middle fibers
  3. Lower fibers.

The significance of this division lies in the variety of functions performed by this muscle.

Trap pain is classic stress pain. Your shoulders ache, your neck hurts and it is often deep and achy. You may have a headache, especially in the temples or behind your eyes or at the base of your skull. You may feel burning between your shoulder blades after sitting at your computer without elbow support.

Causes of trapezius muscle pain:

Although trapezius muscle pain can occur because of stress and tension, exercise, repetitive motion and even daily living can affect the health of the trapezius and cause it to become painful or lock up.

Trapezius muscle pain is common for those who work at a desk or at a computer, especially for those who have poor posture and work in an area that is not ergonomically designed. The main three cause of trapezius muscle pain are:

  1. Stress – the saying stress rides on your shoulders is true. Stress allows these muscles to tighten and hence pain occurs.
  2. Posture – With added strain from working at a keyboard, or even lifting and carrying objects, or even prolonged standing at a counter … all these create postural changes which tighten these muscles. Poor posture due to bending forward while sitting or standing or driving for long hours causes trapezius muscle strain and prevents the muscle from functioning properly
  3. Lower Back pain – the lower back and upper back are interconnected. If the lower back is imbalanced then the upper back also distorts. This allows the muscles to tighten and hence upper back muscle pain occurs.
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