Conditions & Treatments - Upper Trapezius Strain


The upper trapezius muscle is located on both sides of the posterior aspect of the neck/shoulder. The image provided displays the upper trapezius muscle. This muscle assists is shrugging the shoulders, positioning the shoulder blade/socket when bringing the arm up and sidebending and rotating the head/neck. This muscle can be injured or affected by a sudden abrupt displacement of the head/neck, poor posture, poor workstation ergonomics and improper work habits. As a result of the injury the upper trapezius can become inflamed, irritable, sore, tight, tender to the touch or go into spasms.

Upper Trapezius Strain Treatment Options for a PT

· Hot packs/Ice packs

· Strengthening/Stabilization (see grouped video 43 for cervical spine)

· Stretching (see videos 45 & 46 for cervical spine)

· Postural Training

· Massage/Soft Tissue Mobilization


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Last revised: January 1, 2008
by Chai Rasavong, MPT



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