Stretching  the upper  trapezius

The trapezius muscle is a muscle of the posterior compartment of the shoulder, neck, and trunk, belonging to the muscles of the belt of the thoracic limb. It is very large and occupies the entire upper region of the back like a diamond, hence its name. It is usually divided into three beams: upper, middle and lower.

Technical data sheet of the upper trapezius stretching:

Standing upright, feet hip width, your knees are slightly bent. In this position, you perform a retroversion of the pelvis. Lateral lift one arm so that the palm of the hand is on the side of the head.

Example: Raising the right arm > the right hand rests on the left side of your head.

Then place your opposite arm on your lumbar vertebrae and you can safely stretch the trapezius. All you have to do is slightly pull the head to the right (if you use the right hand) or to the left (if you use the left hand). The arm on your lumbar vertebrae will keep your shoulder down, which will optimize the stretching of your trapezius.

To do a good stretch, you will have to respect these rules:

  • Remember to breathe continuously ( Deep breathing cycle of inhalation and exhalation)
  • Never block your breathing when stretching.
  • Do your stretching for at least 30 seconds
  • Stretching will always be done gradually. So that your muscles can get used to this type of work.

Stretched muscles:

Main muscles: Upper trapezius

Role of the upper trapezius: 

The upper fibres allow the scapula to be elevated.

Possible pathologies: 

Cervical pain and back pain, localized pain in the neck and back respectively, may be related to trapezius muscles.

Muscle pain without injuries.

  • Cramp. It corresponds to an involuntary, painful and temporary contraction of a muscle such as the trapezius muscle.
  • Contracture. It is an involuntary, painful and permanent contraction of a muscle such as the trapezius muscle.

Muscle injuries. The trapezius muscle can suffer muscle damage, accompanied by pain.

  • Elongation. The first stage of muscle injury, elongation is a stretching of the muscle caused by microtearings and resulting in muscle disorganization.
  • Breakdown. Second stage of muscle injury, breakdown is a rupture of muscle fibers.
  • Rupture. The last stage of muscle injury, it corresponds to a total rupture of a muscle.

Tendinopathies. They refer to all the pathologies that can occur in tendons such as those associated with the trapezius muscle (2). The causes of these pathologies can be varied. The origin can be both intrinsic with genetic predispositions, as well as extrinsic, with for example bad positions during sports practice.

  • Tendinitis. It corresponds to an inflammation of the tendons.

Torticollis. This pathology is due to deformities or tears in the ligaments or muscles, located in the cervical vertebrae.