Trapezius Strain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Stretches, Recovery

Trapezius Strain

Trapezius or commonly used Traps muscles is a major triangle muscle in the upper back of your body, that cover half the way to your shoulders and extended in this middle back (with T-shape), it’s responsible for many essential actions, such insure correct posture alignment of your upper body, and many activities in your life, similar to lifting objects. The overuse and misusing of the muscle will lead to a major health issues such as Trapezius Strain, the stress various between minor or severe cases depends on the cause of your injury and it’s place.

Most bodybuilders workouts focus to growth Traps area, cause it provides the strength of body muscles they want to achieve, since it provide essential role to increase force of pulling exercises.

In addition once you develop these muscles it provide a great body form and physics of mass thick in your back muscle with a wider measurement.

But to reach to this strength level, probably you could encounter many obstacles of lifting more heavy weights or wrong movement during your workout journey, that will raise the possibility of many injuries and cause muscle strain.


Traps Anatomy


Trapezius Strain

It’ a commonly issue that will minimize the movement of your arms and shoulders, the strain usually happen, when the muscle, tendon or fiber gets stretched beyond it’s normal limits, either by overload activity or it’s tightness.

In this article will brief about the symptoms of this strain, so you can learn if you have injury and you’re are not aware off, and will discuss about the causes that will lead to muscle strain, in order try to avoid them as much possible.

The treatment either the quick that we can do by our-self at home that don’t need extra medical attention, then finally will cover more about the exercise and stretches that will prevent such injuries.



The Symptoms of Trapezius Strain various, range from mild feeling of pain, to critical that reach to torn tendon or muscle, depends mainly on causes and severity level of injury.

You may feel burning and muscle cramp, or pain dots and lines on upper back and in the neck. Advance cases may cause inflammation on muscles and swollen.

Could cause tightness on shoulder and neck, which will minimize their range of movement, and this will cause another issue when turning the head to the sides.

The arms might feel little numbness.



The causes of traps strain commonly occur either by overuse or severe injury.

Severe Injury

This occur when the muscle suddenly gets hit or collision, like hard falling impact or severe equipment drop on the body, and this will cause direct bruise on the area as well immediate toughness and pain.


Overuses Injury raises based on two factors, either Repetitive or performing activities over Lengthy Period of Time. These activities could be either low-impact such as commonly sitting with incorrect shape or using mobile with a lower head for a long period. Or tough-impact similar like for lifting heavy weights while exercise for bodybuilding.

When the Trapezius repeatedly exposure to overworked for a long period of time, without taking a rest or proper care attention, it will gets effected and cause traps muscle strain.




The treatment options of traps muscle strain may varies depend on the injury level, also you need to differentiate the cases that need medical attention, if your not sure you can check with nearest physical consultant for examination and evaluation so you are confident it’s not a serious case.

But most cases can be figure out if you experience a pain which can be tolerate from low-to-mild level, also does not limit your range of arms, head, shoulder motion, and still you’re capable to move your neck to the sides, means your case can be mostly treated at home, with no further concern.

The possible treatment options for traps strain:


Most commonly low-impact cases required to take a rest, cause it gets overload or minor wrong movement during activity, which required to have enough rest to recover, and re-charge the muscle with energy required to rehab itself by taking care of it, for sure this injury type can be maintained at home, or any place you feel relaxed and fresh.


Another treatment way that can apply, by adding ice on the areas that feel spasm, burning or swelling, it’s prefer to wrap ice with low-thickness towel, in order not to exposure the skin to high drop on temperature which could effect negatively on your body. In this way the ice will absorb the tension of the muscles.

Wrap Infected Area

In other cases it’s prefer to wrap the strain by cover area between your shoulder and middle back, to provide a suitable compress on the trapezius muscle to minimize swollen, but it’s not fully practical, since the area in the middle back hard to cover.

However their is another newly alternative way to do that, by using Kinesiology taping which is specialized elastic tape for rehab and muscle injury prevention, placed over the skin, some time used by athletic and in sports field to avoid and recovery of muscle strain.

Kinesiology Tape Athletic Sport Recovery Muscle Strain




Last treatment option in case a severe strain injury raised by a complete tear of the tendon or muscle, a medical attention may required, by perform a surgery to recover the muscle and repair the tear or reattach the tendon.



Recovery Period

The recovery time depends on the level of injury strain and the rehab treatment applied to recover the usual muscle functions and back to normal motion, For the low-impact injury, while using rest and ice, the recovery probably a round two weeks, But for more serious injuries possible could extend to a few months.

In case involvement of medical treatment the doctor will advice you to follow a plan that contains a light activities to recover the traps, and gradually add by time certain exercises or stretches to the program, in order to maximize flexibility and muscle strength, which will help your body back to normal.



Stretches Traps

Performing stretches movement have a great benefit that will works to avoid injuries of your trapezius and muscle strain.

One of the easy traps stretches you can start with, by set your head straight, while relax your shoulders, then bend your head to the left side, like your trying to touch the left shoulder with your left ear, freeze this position for 20 seconds, then return your head straight to center, then switch to another right side and repeat same steps.

Another simple exercise that can strength your trapezius, called scapula setting.

Start by lie on your stomach, with face down on the ground (you can add as optional a towel or pillow in your forehead place, for your comfortable), keep all your body in straighten alignment, while set your arms a side parallel to your body, now raise-up both your shoulders together and contract the two traps in the center of your back.

scapula setting stretch to recover trapezius strain

You can check this link for Additional Trapezius Stretches if your interested to insure muscle flexibility and in case warm-up.


Exercises Traps

If in case you want to grow your traps strength, and your traps have no injuries, you need to follow regular workouts to prevent future injuries.

Workouts that can be fit for Men similar like Waiters Walk using kettle-bell or reverse fly with dumbbells can have great benefits, for Women another exercises that can be practice like seated dumbbell press or superwomen exercise that will also strength your traps muscles, improve your posture, stabilize the rotating shoulders with the neck, and overall balance upper body.

I want to emphasis, that make sure you warm-up your muscles for a while before starting your workout, to minimize any possible injury or muscle strain. 



One of the most essential factor to prevent trapezius strain injury is to engage stretching and exercises into your daily routine activities, Either for 10-15 minutes stretch in the morning, before your workout, Caution when lifting a heavy object or weights and insure it’s suitable and does not hurts you.

Stretching helps you to loosen tighten muscles to insure it’s flexible when needed.

Always follow up and monitor your Symptoms, cause any body issue, started with a minor indication, and the body raise that signal to let you know to be careful and treat yourself, ignoring these symptoms, will accumulate the issues to a severe level by time, which is something that you don’t want to be happen!

Don’t ignore resting your body muscles, cause overloaded efforts with no breaks will make things more worse after a while of time, so prevent such behavior and be more careful and attention with your health.

If your interesting you can boost shoulder stretches which is attached to traps, to increase flexibility and improve recovery of this area.


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