How to Relieve Trapezius Muscle Pain

This post may contain affiliate links but at NO extra costs to you. For further details, please read my full disclosure policy.

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.

How to relieve trapezius muscle pain linked to #fibromyalgia#FindYourAhh Click To Tweet

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 www.reference.com

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.

View

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.

Brandi

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

8 thoughts on “How to Relieve Trapezius Muscle Pain

  • October 25, 2016 at 12:34 am
    Permalink

    Great article! Thank you for sharing your information. I am loving how many of these blogs are popping up. When I first became ill there was nothing. All the best and keep up the great writing!
    Feel free to check out my website that shares similar information and inspiration. http://www.FibroMama.ca
    #SoftHugs

    Reply
    • October 30, 2016 at 12:16 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you for connecting with me! I sent you a message on Facebook as well as an email.

      Reply
  • Pingback: Tomorrow – My Fibro Journal

  • Pingback: Being Sore Vs Being Hurt - Safe and Strong at Work

  • October 5, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    Permalink

    I have had fibro diagnosed since 1996. Now have many other autoimmune diseases. Not pleasant but I can deal with everything but the 50 cent size hot poker In my upper back between spine and shoulder blade. I know stress is a big part of the pain but there has to be something to get relief. I take lots of hot baths, heating pad and icy hots which help but I’ve become allergic to them. No drug takes away the pain. ANY SUGGESTIONS

    Reply
    • October 15, 2020 at 8:14 am
      Permalink

      Oh, no, that’s awful! Is chiropractic care something you’ve considered and/or tried? It has helped me a lot with all-over pain. I wrote about my experiences over on my blog, Striving for Healthy-ish: Should I use chiropractic care? It’s not for everyone, but helped me tremendously. Also, I find a lot of relief from Cool Azul. It’s like Icy Hot, but uses more of essential oils and reaches deeper into the muscles. You can find it here with other topical creams for fibro pain: Best Topical Creams for Fibromyalgia 2020.

      Reply
  • October 24, 2020 at 4:52 pm
    Permalink

    I was in a car accident at 18. My neck has hurt exactly like this picture since. Then I was in another severe accident in 2013. I had serious injuries including a broken back that never healed correctly. I’m 49 now. Diagnosed with trauma induced fibromyalgia. But all these years with my neck…. I’m on disability for chronic pain. But I wonder if it was fibromyalgia in my neck all this time. I manage and I’m happy. I felt like yelling that’s me! Thx for the article. I did find a cream called synergy relief. It has CBD and THC. It is the only thing that has ever helped me. I have to apply twice . Lightens pain or takes away. But I can only get in another state. I stock up on vacation.

    Reply
    • October 27, 2020 at 1:02 pm
      Permalink

      So many trauma incidents have led to an onset of fibromyalgia overall. Fibro truly does affect the CNS in a big way. I’m so glad you’re able to find relief with the topical cream!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.