The trapezius muscle plays a huge role in the movement of the shoulders including lateral movements and moving the joints closer to the ears. The trapezius muscles tend to be overstretched in most people in modern society due to the amount that we sit down and look down at our devices. The trapezius muscle can also play a large roll in neck stability. The muscle is essential to pay attention to whether you are an athlete or not because stress tends to show up here.
Trapezius Muscle Anatomy
The trapezius muscle is a superficial back and neck muscle. When the muscle is well developed, it has a diamond appearance from the back, and from the front, it looks like someone shoulders touch their ears.
When you are experiencing tightness close to your spine in your mid back, it is tightness in the trap muscles since they go lower than many people think they do. Anatomically the traps play a considerable role in the stabilization of the upper body.
Trapezius Muscle Purpose
- Shoulder elevation
- Upper body posture
- Squeezing shoulder blades together
The bullet points above represent the obvious uses for the traps. The reason that people say shoulders back when you have poor posture is that the traps are muscles that help with posture. When you get your shoulders back, the trapezius muscles help to stabilize and hold them there.
The chest muscle is the nemesis of the trapezius muscle. The reason for this is because the chest tends to be overworked in the gym, and then they are often shortened when working on a computer. When you have your arms in front of your body for long periods of time the shoulders, tend to roll forward. This overstretches the traps and makes them weaker.
Traps also elevate the shoulders, but the shoulders tend to lift when stress levels increase. If you watch an athlete running in a tense situation, you will often notice how high their shoulders are. The same is true for someone stressed in the workplace, their shoulders tend to elevate a bit. This puts a lot of tension in the trapezius muscle and shoulders.
Trapezius Muscle Injury Prevention
The trapezius muscle is not one to be often injured. The reason is that the muscle is used to be overworked for many people. What you will see with this muscle though is serious tightness. You can grab some people in this area and feel that their traps feel like bricks.
What you see with the trapezius muscle is an intense need for massage therapy. When people talk about getting their shoulders rubbed, they usually are talking about the traps. The reason is that these muscles hold a lot of stress and tension.
If you can get these muscles to move freely, it will feel much better when you move your arms and neck. Motions, like pumping your arms when running, and turning your neck, can become difficult when the trapezius muscle is tight.
Do not just get your significant other to run your shoulders. They do not know what they are doing. You want to go to a trained professional and make sure that all of the areas in need are taking care of. Your trapezius muscle will never loosen up until you attack the tightness in the front of your body.
Trapezius Muscle Stretches
Daily trap stretches can go a long way in improving your health. Stretching not only loosens muscles but it also promotes proper breathing and helps with circulation. Your body needs blood to flow correctly to be healthy.
Stretches should be done at least every other day and should be held for a minimum of 60 seconds. You should be breathing in deep for 3 seconds through the nose and exhaling for 5 seconds through the mouth.
Stretches are meant to help maintain your health, but they will never replace the power of a massage therapist or a health care provider that knows Graston or Active Release Technique.
Dealing With Trapezius Muscle Tightness
Kho Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. For example, you can look for a Massage Therapist that also knows Graston Technique. It does not matter what kind of provider you need, Kho Health can help you find them and help you to sort through their skills.
If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions. From there Kho Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or coming off of a Trapezius muscle tension due to stress.
The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number. Once you are shown the best local options, how do you know which is the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that.
Skill Sets to Look for In Sports Medicine Providers
Skill sets are the things healthcare providers learn after they graduate. A healthcare provider can take courses and get certifications for different skill sets. These skill sets are valuable and help them approach injuries from different perspectives for the benefit of your trapezius muscle.
- Dry needling
- Joint Manipulation
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Functional Movement Screen
- Fascial Stretching
- Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports Background
- And many more