The body’s muscles function to produce force and motion. The trapezius muscle is one of the largest, which makes it highly susceptible to injury/s and spasms. A trapezius muscle spasm is when the muscle starts to contract. This muscle group is based around the neck and shoulders and is used to move the scapula shoulder bone.
A few causes for this muscle to become inflamed/irritated include:
The effects feel similar to a pulled shoulder muscle. Common symptoms include:
A muscle spasm and pinched nerve might seem or feel similar, but they are different. A muscle spasm makes the area tight and can cause muscle twitching. They vary in intensity with some spasms being mild and others excruciating. In some cases, a spasm can cause a nerve to get pinched if the knot contorts tightly around a nerve and if it is big enough. Conversely, a pinched nerve can also cause twitching, but it typically results in severe pain. Pinched nerves can also cause tingling sensations and numbness depending on the severity it could cause muscle spasms.
There are a few ways to treat this naturally.
One way to calm a muscle spasm is using heat and ice. The heat will increase nerve and blood circulation keeping the muscles flexible, and the warmth will soothe the injury. This helps prevent the muscles from spazzing and generating pain. Ice therapy also increases blood circulation but the focus is on reducing inflammation. The nerves become slightly frozen which stops the tingling, significantly reducing the pain.
If pain presents around the trapezius, immediately put an ice pack on. It should be applied every few hours in 15-minute sessions. Once the pain subsides, heat therapy can be applied. A heating pad placed around the area, a warm/hot bath, or standing in the shower if possible with a massage setting letting the warm/hot water hit the muscle. But it must be consistent, doing it for about 20-minute sessions three times a day.
Stretches and exercises can help keep the muscle flexible and prevent any tightening.
This stretch will move the upper trapezius area, promoting flexibility and preventing the muscle from becoming stiff.
This yoga pose is for relieving tension.
Some massage techniques include:
Chiropractors specialize in the musculoskeletal system and understand how the muscles, bones, and joints all work together. For muscle spasms, they investigate the problem and look at other areas of the body that could be contributing to or worsening the condition. For some, muscle spasms could be brought on by a misplaced joint pressing on the area. A chiropractor will palpate the areas to ensure this is not the case. And if there is a problem, they will perform a joint manipulation. This realigns the joint back in place and reduces muscle spasm symptoms. Over time the muscles become healthier because chiropractic releases toxins and improves the range of motion.
Often, muscle spasms are the result of inflammation. When a muscle swells, it can place pressure on surrounding nerves. The more intense the inflammation the more pressure/stress on the nerves. This can make moving and functioning very difficult because of the pain. To naturally reduce inflammation consider an anti-inflammatory diet. This type of diet is filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that will work to reduce swelling. Although it might not completely repair the muscle injury, it can reduce symptoms and stop oxidative stress. Foods to eat more of are:
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Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Finley JE. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Myofascial Pain. Medscape. emedicine.medscape.com/article/313007-overview#showall. Updated May 21, 2017. Accessed July 16, 2018.
Rodante JA, Al Hassan QA, Almeer ZS. Myofascial Pain Syndrome: Uncovering the Root Causes. Practical Pain Manag. www.practicalpainmanagement.com/pain/myofascial/myofascial-pain-syndrome-uncovering-root-causes. 2012;6. Last updated on October 5, 2012. Accessed July 16, 2018.
The information herein on "Trapezius Muscle Spasms: Chiropractic Treatment and Relief" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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