Friday, 9 Jun 2023

Trapezius: Muscle pain, stretches, and home remedies

The muscle separates into three sections: the superior, middle, and inferior. Each segment of the muscle plays a role in specific movements of the neck and shoulders.

In this article, learn more about the functions of the trapezius, causes of pain and soreness in this muscle, and how to relieve pain.


The trapezius stabilizes the shoulder blades and also facilitates shoulder and neck movement.

The superior or upper segment of the muscle helps elevate the shoulder blades. The upper trapezius also helps rotate and tilt the neck.

The middle trapezius brings the shoulder blades back and also provides stabilization for the shoulder during some arm movements. The lower trapezius helps bring the shoulder blades back down.

The trapezius can become painful or sore for many reasons. Pain in the trapezius may also have accompanying symptoms, such as:

  • muscle stiffness
  • shoulder or neck pain
  • muscle spasms
  • tingling or numbness in one or both arms
  • decreased range of motion in the shoulders or neck

To do the cat stretch:


To do an ear-to-shoulder stretch:

Hug stretch

To do a hug stretch:

In most cases, people can successfully treat trapezius pain using home remedies, such as rest, ice, and OTC pain medication.

However, a person should speak to a doctor if they experience any of the following:

  • severe pain
  • inability to move the shoulder or neck
  • pain that lasts for more than a week
  • signs of infection, such as skin redness and fever
  • a depression (divot) or deformity in the trapezius, which can indicate a severe muscle tear


As with all muscles, the trapezius is prone to injury and soreness. There are many causes of trapezius pain, including a pulled muscle and poor posture.

Keeping the muscle pliable and loose with stretches may help prevent soreness. If trapezius pain does develop, it usually resolves without professional medical treatment.

Home remedies, such as rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication are often sufficient to ease the pain.

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