Trapezius Trigger Points - Dr. Jonathan Kuttner
Trapezius trigger points are incredibly common and related to a number of ailments such as headaches and stiff necks
Trapezius is a major mover of the shoulder. The upper fibers pull the shoulder girdle up and help prevent depression of the shoulder girdle when weight is carried.
Trigger points form in the upper, middle and lower trapezius. Upper trigger points are commonly active, typically posture related, and just about all of us have them.
These trigger points are associated with a wide range of common ailments including chronic tension and neck ache, stress headache, cluster headache, cervical spine pain, whiplash, facial/jaw pain, neck pain and stiffness, upper shoulder pain, mid-back pain, and dizziness.
The good news is that trigger points in the upper trapezius are relatively simple to access, and there's a lot that you can do by yourself at home to help dissipate these "knots" to achieve pain relief and, in some cases, increased range of motion for the neck and shoulders.
Trapezius - Common Trigger Point Sites
Trigger Point Self Treatment Technique
This technique involves locating the heart of the trigger/tender point. When this is compressed it may well trigger a specific referred pain map (preferably reproducing your symptoms).
1. Identify the tender/trigger point you wish to work on.
2. Place the host muscle in a comfortable position, where it is relaxed and can undergo full stretch.
3. Apply gentle, gradually increasing pressure to the tender point until you feel resistance. This should be experienced as discomfort and not as pain.
4. Apply sustained pressure until you feel the tender point yield and soften. This can take from a few seconds to several minutes.
5. Steps 3-4 can be repeated, gradually increasing the pressure on the tender/trigger point until it has fully yielded.
6. To achieve a better result, you can try to change the direction of pressure during these repetitions.
Proceed with caution and always use common sense!
There are many reasons why you might have trigger points, so it is important to consider your trigger point pain in the context of the rest of your body.
It must be stressed that the techniques offered on this page are not a substitute for therapy from a qualified practitioner.
Although aches and pains from trigger points are common, there can sometimes be an underlying pathology.
Where possible work with a partner or friend - refer to notes on procedure (above)
Self Treatment using fingers. It's always good to start using fingers (finger tips) to see if you can feel the trigger point itself and not just the immediate area.
There are a variety of pressure tools available to buy. These are relatively inexpensive and allow you to comfortably reach the target areas. In our opinion, just about everyone should own a pressure tool!
Stretching alone probably won't do too much to dissipate the trigger points but it can be very effective in providing pain relief and (when used it tandem with self-treatment) may help accelerate the healing process.
Always start slowly and use extreme caution at all times. Stop if you feel too much pain. If you already have a painful condition, seek professional advice before you stretch.
Studies have repeatedly shown the importance and value of self-managed care. It's incredible how simple it can often be to achieve pain relief with simple techniques like those described above.
If you suffer with long term or chronic pain ailments, it is always likely to be beneficial to work with an experienced professional.
Most therapists will help you create a self-managed care program and may be able to teach you how to use pressure tools.
About NAT Courses:
As a manual therapist or exercise professional, there is only one way to expand your business - education!
Learning more skills increases the services that you offer and provides more opportunity for specialization.
Every NAT course is designed to build on what you already know, to empower you to treat more clients and grow your practice, with a minimal investment in time and money.
Best of all, we're always here to offer help and support.Recommended Starter Packs:
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
- Trigger Point Overview - Rectus Abdominis
Rectus Abdominis Trigger Points - Dr. Jonathan Kuttner Latin rectus, straight; abdominis, of the belly/stoma...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Active, Latent and Transitional Trigger Points
How To Treat "Latent" Trigger Points Latent Trigger Points are like land mines - waiting silently under th...
- Shoulder Injuries - "Wear, Tear, and Repair" Syndrome
Shoulder Pain and Trigger Points Learn More Shoulder injuries are often more painful at night....
- A Simple Guide To "Correct" Breathing
A Simple Guide to Correct Breathing Learn More Better oxygenation can mean less pain and more energy! ...
- Treating Biceps Trigger Points
Treating trigger points in Biceps Brachii Learn More Trigger Points in the biceps are often associated ...
- What Every Therapist Needs to Know About "Whiplash" (WAD)
Whiplash - An Overview Learn More Background to Whiplash Whiplash, more correctly known as whipla...
- Manual Therapy - Understanding the Knee Joint
Talking about "Unexplained" Pain in the Back of the Knee - Dr. Jonathan Kuttner M.D. Learn More The...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Treating Sartorius
Sartorius Muscle - in Motion Learn More Sartorius is the most superficial muscle of the anterior thig...
- Trigger Point Therapy - Levator Ani Syndrome
Chronic Pelvic Pain and Trigger Points - Dr. Jonathan Kuttner Trigger Point Therapy - Where to Start? I...
- How to Differentiate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from Myofascial Pain?
Testing for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Elbow and Wrist Course Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a progressive ...
Share this post