Thursday, November 3, 2022

Upper Trapezius Pain and Dysfunction

Upper trapezius trigger point pain pattern

Restriction and pain associated with the upper trapezius muscle is a common finding in my clinical practice and something I address often with patients. Stress, excessive sitting at a computer, and poor core support are but a few of the things that can lead to this muscle forming painful trigger points (hypersensitive nodules that refer pain). The image on the left from Travell and Simon's excellent book, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: A Trigger Point Manual, illustrates the common pain referral from this muscle. Many people suffering from chronic neck pain and stiffness and/or muscle tension headaches will likely find this a familiar pain pattern.

Trigger point based acupuncture (trigger point dry needling), trigger point injection, and deep tissue myofascial release techniques are all excellent resources I use to treat this common complain. However, self stretching can be an excellent resource as well and here is a video showing a self stretch I frequently give my patients.

Upper Trapezius Stretch

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