The upper trapezius muscle is a group of three muscles that lie on the neck and shoulder. The muscle provides support to the shoulder blades, assists in lifting the shoulders, and helps turn the head from side to side. The upper trapezius muscle is frequently stressed from carrying weights or through repetitive motions such as computer work or driving. If you’ve been feeling headaches, neck pain, or shoulder pain lately, you might have an overworked upper trapezius muscle.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can self-massage your trapezius muscle.
Massages are a great way to relieve stress and tension in your body. They can help you to sleep better as well as increase feelings of happiness and contentment. Not everyone has the time or money for frequent massages, though, so we’ve created a routine that anyone can do at home.
Here are 5 easy steps to self-massage your upper trapezius muscle:
1. Find the muscle by following your shoulder blade up towards the top of your neck.
2. Gently massage the area with hand pressure in circular motions.
3. Softly pull on skin and tissue with your hands and fingers if you feel knots beneath them.
4. Massage this area for 5 minutes every day until you notice a significant change in how you feel.
5. Repeat as needed!
What Is the Trapezius Muscle?
The trapezius muscle is one of the upper back muscles that runs from the neck to the shoulder blade. It is responsible for lifting your shoulder up and back, as well as rotating your arm outwards.
The trapezius muscle is large and forms the shape of a trapezoid on your back. It's located below your neck and above your shoulders. It extends from the base of your skull to the top of your spine, connecting the muscles in your back with those in front. This muscle supports the weight of your head, as well as any heavy items you're carrying. It's a broad, flat muscle that can be hard to reach and difficult to stretch on your own.
The Importance of Your Upper Trapezius Muscle
Most people store a lot of their stress in this area because of the high level of responsibility we put on our shoulders. That being said, it's important that you massage the muscle in order to relieve tension and stay healthy.
Here are some benefits for self-massaging your upper trapezius muscle:
1. Massage can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, which will give you a sense of relaxation or make you feel happy
2. Self-massage also reduces stress hormone levels such as cortisol
3. It increases blood flow in your body which helps with oxygen delivery
4. It improves range of motion and mobility in your neck and shoulder region
5. Massages have been shown to reduce pain and soreness by 11%
What Causes Tight Upper Trapezius Muscle?
Overuse is a common cause of tight upper trapezius muscle. Activities like repetitive computer use, driving, or watching TV can all lead to tightness in this area.
Stress is another common cause of tight upper trapezius muscle. When you experience high levels of stress for long periods of time, the body will react by building up muscle tension. This is so that it can be prepared for any upcoming stressful events. You may not be aware of your increased tension until your muscles become strained from the pressure. Stressful events like moving or family problems are common triggers for upper trapezius strain or injury.
Poor posture can also contribute to tense shoulders and neck muscles. The two most important parts of good posture are sitting with a neutral spine and keeping your head in line with your back rather than looking down at your phone!
Pain and Discomfort of the Upper Trapezius Muscle
The upper trapezius muscle is responsible for lifting your shoulder up and back, as well as rotating your arm outwards. When overused, this muscle can become strained or injured. Poor posture, repetitive movements, and stress are common causes of upper trapezius pain.
The upper trapezius muscle helps to raise the shoulders and maintain posture, which is why it can become strained from sitting or slouching too much. When this muscle becomes overworked, it can cause both pain and discomfort. The pain can vary from mild to severe, depending on how often the muscle is strained and for how long. If you are experiencing any discomfort or pain in your upper trapezius muscle, you should visit a physician to determine if there is an underlying issue such as a pinched nerve or arthritis.
Why Is It Important to Massage Your Upper Trapezius Muscle?
Your upper trapezius muscle is one of the most important muscles in your neck and shoulder area. It’s responsible for lifting your shoulder up and back, as well as rotating your arm outwards.
When overused, this muscle can become strained or injured. Poor posture, repetitive movements, and stress are common causes of upper trapezius pain. In addition to relieving pain, a regular self-massage routine can also help improve posture, reduce anxiety and depression rates, reduce headaches, prevent dizziness, and reduce high blood pressure. For best results: find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted and put on some relaxing music. Begin by gently applying pressure with your fingertips in circular motions. You should notice an improvement in mobility after just one session!
How to Self Massage Upper Trapezius Muscle?
One of the most common problem areas for many people is the upper trapezius muscle, which can feel tight and tense. It can be difficult to reach and overworked. Thankfully, self-massage can help relieve tension in this area. The following are steps on how to self-massage your upper trapezius muscle:
1) Find your upper trapezius by feeling along your neck, just below where your ears meet your head. Place one hand on either side of your neck, thumbs just below the base of your skull and fingers pointing down toward your spine (or on top of each other). You’ll want to apply pressure with both hands on either side of the neck. Point fingers down toward spine while applying pressure with thumbs against back of head or just under base of skull. This will stretch and release the muscle.
2) Continue with this process for a few minutes each day, paying attention to any specific points that are emphasized with pain or tightness. Repeat as necessary, especially before driving or sitting at a desk for long periods of time.
The Best Techniques for Massaging Your Upper Trapezius Muscle
There are several techniques you can use to massage your upper trapezius muscle.
The most common technique is the "self-massage". To give yourself a self-massage, find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted and put on some relaxing music. Begin by gently applying pressure with your fingertips in circular motions. You should notice an improvement in mobility after just one session!
Self-massage can also be helpful if you have occasional tension in this area, but it may not be enough if you experience chronic pain. In that case, it would probably be wise to see a doctor or therapist who can give you a deep tissue massage that will help relieve chronic pain and tension in this area.
A second technique is called "shoulder blade squeeze". It involves pulling up on your shoulder blades to release tension in your upper back. This technique can be done while sitting or lying down, and is great for beginners who want to make sure they're using their hands correctly.
A third technique is called "shoulder blade release". It involves applying pressure to the bottom of the shoulder blades to relieve tension. It's best to do this one lying down as it can be painful for beginners if done improperly.
Upper Trapezius Stretches
A good way to keep your upper trapezius muscles in a healthy state is to perform stretches on a regular basis. These stretches will help to relieve tension, improve mobility, and reduce pain.
There are two primary stretches for the upper trapezius:
► The first stretch is performed by lifting your arm up towards the ceiling and then externally rotating it towards the front of your body. Hold this stretch for 10-20 seconds and repeat three times.
► The second stretch is performed by reaching to the side with one arm and reaching over your head with the other arm. This should help to open up your chest while stretching out your shoulders. Holding this stretch for 10-20 seconds can help to relieve stress on the upper back area.
Some simple stretches that can help relieve tension in the upper trapezius muscle are neck bridges, cat cow, and bird dog. Each of these stretches can be done at your desk.
Neck bridges: To do a neck bridge, start by lying on your back and bringing your shoulders off the ground. You can use your arms to push against the ground for more support. Slowly lower your head and chest towards the floor while doing a posterior pelvic tilt. Hold this position for 20 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
Cat cow: Cat cow is a great stretch for releasing tension in the upper trapezius muscle because it moves from side to side, giving you mobility and flexibility in both directions. Start by lying on your stomach with hands next to your chest. Slowly arch up into a backbend, then tuck chin into chest as you round over and come back down into downward facing dog pose. Repeat this movement about 10 times.
Bird dog: This stretch will help lengthen muscles in both sides of the body as well as provide relief for those with tightness in their upper trapezius (and other areas). Start by getting on all fours and raising opposite arm above shoulder height. Then bring opposite leg out so that you have an "L" shape with body at elbow and knee joint (simultaneously). Hold this pose while tightening abs and butt muscles to prevent arching or sagging of spine or hips/hamstrings. Hold 20-30 seconds.
Best Trapezius Muscle Massage Tool
There are many different ways to massage your trapezius muscle. One popular method is using a tennis ball. You can use anything you have on hand, like a rolled up towel, but the tennis ball is best because it’s easy to maneuver and provides more pressure than a towel would.
To do this massage at home: lay down on your back and place the ball between your shoulder blades. Cover the other side of your neck with a pillow or blanket while you press down on the ball using both hands and elbows. Gently move the ball around in circles, applying enough pressure so that it sinks into your muscles. Repeat for 10 minutes and then switch sides. The pressure will increase blood circulation in this area which will improve pain relief.
One of the best trapezius muscle massage tools is a foam roller. You can find them online or at most sports stores. They come in a variety of sizes, but they are all the same length, six inches long. The purpose of a foam roller is to provide relief for tight and sore muscles by aiding in circulation and breaking down scar tissue.
A massage is great for helping to ease tension in the upper trapezius, but it's not always available. This is where a percussion massage gun can come in handy. It is one of the most popular and helpful tools to use for self-massage. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive either, this massage gun has a lot of features that make it a worthwhile investment.
The percussion massager has small and powerful springs that work to penetrate deep into your muscles so that it can release tension. A percussion massager is often used in conjunction with other massage techniques. But it can be used alone by simply holding the device against your skin and pressing down to apply pressure.
Massaging your upper trapezius muscle can help relieve tension and stress, and it is important to do this on a regular basis. If you have a tight upper trapezius muscle, you can use these self massage techniques to work out the knots. By incorporating these stretches and massages into your lifestyle as part of your daily routine, you will notice a difference in how you feel.
❝Massaging your upper trapezius muscle can help relieve tension and stress, and it is important to do this on a regular basis. For best results, try these massage methods at least twice a week.❞