Injured trapezius muscle: How is it remedied?

21 September 2017
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21 September 2017, Comments: 0

The trapezius muscle in the back of the neck up to the middle back helps shrug the shoulders. Strain from injuries and overuse can lead to a stiff neck and throbbing as well as discomfort in the shoulder blades and the upper region of the back.

A doctor should be seen if the individual experiences tingling or numbness, severe pain, weakness, redness or intensifying pain during head and neck movement.

Close look on a trapezius strain

The trapezius muscle can be damaged by abrupt trauma such as whiplash, fall or collision with another player especially in contact sports. Monotonous stress is also a usual reason for the injuries.

trapezius muscle

A minor injury to the trapezius muscle can be managed at home with the RICE method.

A trapezius muscle strain occurs if the muscle or connective tendon is overly stretched or tears. This develops from sitting for long periods in a chair without an armrest or the armrests are too low.

Enduring repeated strains can lead to chronic neck pain. The main indications of a trapezius strain include an aching, stiff neck with dull pain and tightness in the upper part of the back.

RICE method

A minor injury to the trapezius muscle can be managed at home with the RICE method. It is important to take a break from the activity responsible for the strain and place an ice pack at 15-minute sessions every few hours. The discomfort can also be lessened by applying an elastic bandage.

Raise the muscle above the level of the heart and place heat with a heating pad once the early puffiness has settled. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and topical alternatives can be used.


Massage can also be used to lessen the pain and rigidity in the trapezius muscle. It is recommended to use one or two fingers to apply firm, steady pressure for at least 60 seconds.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on an injured trapezius muscle is for learning purposes only. Learn how the injured muscle is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Ottawa First Aid.

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