What is the function of the Trapezius Muscle?

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The  neck and back muscles are one of most used muscles. The constant use of these muscles can put a strain on them  and doing even simple regular activities like lifting, pulling or rotating the neck can cause sore necks or back pain and these are one of the most common problems we face. Inactivity too can lead to such muscle spasms. Our body constitutes various types of muscles located in different parts and having array of functions. Similarly trapezius muscle too is specifically devoted to execute certain functions and enable regular movements of our body.


What is the Trapezius Muscle?

The trapezius muscle is more known as one of the largest muscles located inside the human body and hence whenever it stiffens it causes grave problem to neck and back. This muscle is an important part of functions like lifting objects or moving arms and injury to it can lead to problem in lifting or supporting weight with the help of arm.


Where is the Trapezius muscle located?

The trapezius muscle is named so owing to its peculiar shape inside the body. The right and left part of trapezius muscle meet together in such a way that it forms a trapezium having four irregular sides. It is precisely located on the upper back, a bit above the skull. It starts at the collarbone and joins shoulder blade located on the left as well as the right side due to which it forms four sided shape inside the body.


What is the function of the  trapezius muscle?

The main function of trapezius muscle is to enable neck movements in different directions in such a way that it does not experience looseness and tightness and offers flexibility to the neck. Sore necks and neck stiffness owing to constant sitting position while driving continuously  or working on computer for long hours is a common thing. Such problem arises because the upper fibers of trapezius muscles are overworked. These upper fibers are part of the three muscle areas that travel from the neck base upto the back continuing to the back of shoulder blade and then externally reaching into shoulder and arm areas. Apart from upper fibers, the trapezius muscles have two more parts: middle fibers and lower fibers. All these three help the muscle perform various functions listed below:

  • Keeping the neck and head in position
  • Allowing the bending and rotation of neck to different sides
  • Enabling the movement of shoulder blade in the direction of spine
  • Helping the rotational movement in shoulder blade to enable upward facing or lifting of upper arm
  • Enabling the up and down movement of shoulder blade
  • Assistance in breathing


What are the injuries associated with trapezius muscles?

The functioning of trapezius muscle is affected by nerve or muscle injury as these muscles are controlled by the spinal accessory nerves. Hence such an injury can also lead to pain and restriction of upper arm movement. Mostly injury affecting the nerve function or neck block can cause such problem. Depending upon the severity of the injury treatments are suggested and in most extreme cases even surgery is recommended. Some regular problems associated with trapezius muscles are You do not have access to view this node or soreness which only affect the functioning temporarily.


What are the related treatments?

Such neck and shoulder or upper arm injuries usually respond positively to light exercises and massage. Even a self neck massage works wonders. The steps should be though learnt from the doctor so that you perform the massage in right direction. The neck is prone to stiffness due to stress and hence various precautions or changes can relieve such pain. Some of the changes you can make to ease out the pain are:

  • To make your work environment ergonomically right
  • Decreasing tension as well as stress level
  • Making yourself more active by doing exercises and avoiding sedentary life style
  • Ensuring proper posture while sitting as well as standing
  • While resting making use of proper neck and shoulder pillow support

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