Tightness in the Trapezius

So much of solving musculoskeletal dysfunction and, consequently, dispelling pain, begins with relearning what was lost. It begins with unlearning bad habits which have accumulated due to laziness and learning how to use your muscles in harmony so that no one part of the body is assuming more burden than it should. This is especially important as we move forward in age, as the physical ability which came so effortlessly when we were young begins to erode. A great example of this is the trapezius, a large, trapezoid shaped muscle that sits in the center of the upper back.

For our intents and purposes, we divide the trapezius into three parts: the upper, middle and lower, with heavy focus centered upon the upper trapezius: the muscle which starts in the back of the head and connects to the clavicle. Over-activation of this muscle pulls the shoulders up and, because sitting often sees us hunched over, the shoulder adapts to this request and locks itself into a shortened position. With a tight upper trapezius and shoulders elevated, it is much more difficult for the middle and lower trapezius to perform the stabilizing role for the shoulders and they begin to fire much less and weaken, shifting even more burden on the upper trapezius. So it’s really no surprise that a principle complaint of deskbound workers is tight shoulders- their bodies are literally morphing into a position that perpetuates stiffness and pain. 

This should serve as a road map for how pain can develop when we let our postural awareness fall by the wayside. Shoulder mechanics are a matter of mobility and establishing and maintaining range of motion and flexibility in critical joints is a big part of our practice at Haynes Chiropractic. It does take a dose of proactivity on your part, but the upside is truly worth it. We can show you strengthening and stretching techniques that will tone the muscles necessary to make maintaining good posture easier. Call our office to schedule an appointment so we can begin extracting you from the veritable mess that a desk-bound lifestyle breeds. 

Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C. 

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