Back To Health Wellness's Thought For The Day

Shut The “Trap” Up

November 02, 2023 Back To Health Wellness Season 1 Episode 38
Back To Health Wellness's Thought For The Day
Shut The “Trap” Up
Show Notes

The trapezius muscle, Also known as the traps, plays an important role in posture.

First, it is a large muscle of the back. It starts at the base of the skull moving down the neck, it then extends across the shoulders, and down the middle of the back, forming a trapezoid.

The trapezius muscle acts as both a posture stabilizer and a movement muscle. It directly stabilises the shoulder blade and extends the neck. 

Bad posture culminating from standing or sitting for too long, will affect how the spine balances the head on the shoulders - as the stiffness in the spine increases, the upper, middle and lower trapezius muscle tightens to try and fix the head and shoulder blade position. Failing to do this successfully, results in a forward head posture. 

This adaptation can give rise to a tension headaches which can refers up the back of the neck, to the back of the head and then over to the front of the forehead and the eye. 

This type of referral headache is known as the Cervicogenic headache. 

Now, If symptoms like a headache can develop - then you know it’s probably gone too far.

So what to do? How does one shut the trap up?

The answer is simple - you do everything that can help alleviate stiffness in the spine, to improve posture. 

Here are 3 ways to do this -

  1. Massage or spine adjustments. Both therapies can help you relieve stiffness in the trapezius muscle. They also help increase flexibility in the spine, alleviating stiffness in the process. 
  2. Spine traction - this therapy uses a device for focused stretching of the spine and the surrounding tissues. Spine traction is A highly effective way to Improve neck curve and alleviate upper back and neck tension. This therapy is Ideal for those with a limited neck curve or those with a straight neck and a flexed upper back - which, are both the outcomes of stiffness in the spine and tension in the trapezius muscles.
  3. Reassess your environment - 

Be it sitting as the desk or standing for hours - l your environment will have the most profound and long term effect on your spine and thus the traps muscle.

If you sit for hours, and getting up and moving around is unlikely, change your sitting environment - get rid of your office chair and get a kneeling or saddle chair. This will help with keeping your back naturally upright - ultimately improving your posture and alleviating tension and stiffness in the spine and the traps.  

Final thoughts 

There are other ways to alleviate tension in the traps, such as spine mobility exercises and gentle intermittent stretches. 

Though identifying the reasons behind why the trapezius muscle is so tight and stiff, and improving your posture will go a long way to helping remedy it permanently and Finally, keep it quiet.