How to Relieve Trapezius Muscle Pain

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When I read about trapezius muscle pain linked to fibromyalgia, I was not surprised. Many people with fibromyalgia say their pain lies in this area. It’s a nuisance and can be quite painful at times. What is this muscle and how is it linked to fibromyalgia pain? More importantly, is there a way to get relief from that pain? Here is a natural way to relieve the  trapezius muscle pain.

How to relieve trapezius muscle pain linked to fibromyalgia #trapeziusmuscle #fibromyalgia #beingfibromom
stock image from Adobe Stock by © Artem Furman and modified by Brandi, Being Fibro Mom

This is a sponsored post by Sunbeam®. I was given a Sunbeam® heating pad in exchange for a review. Even though this is a sponsored review, these are my honest opinions and recommendation about the product.

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What is the trapezius muscle?

The trapezius muscle is the major muscle group located in the upper back area. It extends up the back of the neck to the base of the skull and stretches across the upper back to include the shoulder blades.

The muscle is divided into two sides – left and right – and meet along the spine. It is used to move the shoulder blades, rotate the head and neck, supports the shoulders, and support the arm and its movements. According to Referenceit is the widest muscle of the back.

trapezius muscle
image obtained from

How is the trapezius muscle linked to fibromyalgia?

Case studies from 2013 and 2015 have shown the link between the trapezius muscle and fibromyalgia. When a person with fibromyalgia experiences increased levels of stress, the pain in the neck and shoulder region also increase. Researchers believe the link between the two is in the proteins of the trapezius muscle.

This makes complete sense to me. I notice that when I’m in a stressed state, the pain in my shoulders literally weighs me down. So much weight causing tension in my neck and shoulder area makes it hard to function. Most often than not, a headache will stem from this tightness and will lead to a migraine if it persists.

As found in the article Pain Associated Proteins in Trapezius Muscles of Fibromyalgia Patients Higher by Fibromyalgia News Today, one of the case studies included 18 females with fibromyalgia and chronic pain and 19 healthy controls enrolled for research of the muscle proteins.

Muscle biopsies were taken from each patient to analyze protein composition…The findings showed that the protein composition within the muscle tissue in patients with FM and CWP were mostly proteins involved in stress and inflammation, muscle damage, and muscle recovery; and those proteins were present at higher percentages than the healthy controls.

The results led researchers to conclude that the increased expression of the proteins in patients with FM and CWP could be associated with a heightened inflammatory process and greater feelings of pain.

How to relieve trapezius muscle pain

The tension in the neck and shoulder region is quite painful. For me, it’s tight on the back of the neck, across my shoulders, and down my spine. I get sharp, stabbing pains right on my spine in the upper neck area. All my stress settles in my shoulders. It’s a nuisance and is the source of the majority of my pain.

Now that we know the cause of the pain (stress – mental, emotional, physical), how do we relieve it? Aside from relieving stress which is nearly impossible at times, I use a Sunbeam® heating pad .


Sunbeam® Heating Pad for trapezius muscle pain

I love my heating pad, and for many reasons.


Reasons I love the heating pad (in no particular order):

  1. The x-large area covers the entire trapezius muscle – shoulders, neck, and shoulder blades. This evenly distributes the heat across the inflicted areas. It even has a small flap to go up the base of the skull (starting point for many tension headaches).
  2. It’s lightweight so it doesn’t have added weight on your shoulders. And even though it’s lightweight, I don’t have to worry about it slipping around because there are small padded edges to keep it in place.
  3. A magnetic clip on the front keeps the wrap’s flaps together in the front.
  4. It has a contoured design so it’s not a big rigid heating pad. It fits snuggly on my neck and shoulders as though I’m wrapping my blanket around me.
  5. The large digital controller is easy to hold and has four heat settings. Unlike other heating pads, it includes a warm setting which I prefer to use when I’m sitting at my desk.
  6. The long nine-foot power cord makes it easy to reach from the outlet to the wrap. This is a nice feature because I’m not always immediately next to an outlet.
  7. One of the best parts of the wrap is the auto shut-off after two hours. With my fibro brain, I sometimes forget little necessities such as turning off my heating pad. With a safety shut off prevents overheating or consuming electricity.
  8. The first thing I noticed about the heat therapy wrap is the soft, washable pad. After opening the packaging, I immediately rubbed it on my face. I love the feel of it.


Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

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