|Muscle Group:||Face & Throat|
|Symptoms and Referred Pain:|
|The pain patterns for the three different fiber directions of the trapezius are very distinct and varying.
The upper trapezius refers pain into the head along the back and side of the neck and into the head. When the referral is more intense it will also extend through the side of the head and concentrate in the temple and behind the eye. The pain may also travel to the angle of the jaw.
The middle trapezius fibers can harbor trigger points that refer a superficial, burning pain that is concentrated between the trigger points and the spinous processes (part of the vertebrae) of C7-T3. Pain is also referred to the acromion (top of the shoulder).
There is an area in the middle trapezius that can produce a sensation described as “the chills”. This area, when stimulated, can cause goose bumps to appear on the lateral arm of the same side, and may be felt in the thigh as well.
The lower trapezius fibers harbor trigger points that go overlooked with regards to upper cervical pain. The pain may be referred as far up as the high cervical region around the base of the skull. Pain from the lower trapezius may also be referred to the upper shoulder blade and top of the shoulder.
If you have trigger points in the trapezius muscle, you may complain of headaches that go up the side of the neck and center in the temporal area. You may also have a stiff neck and be uncomfortable in heavy clothing because the weight of the clothes rest on the trapezius, causing irritation. Burning sensations may be felt as a result of the middle trapezius as well as making the shoulder intolerant of a heavy overcoat or heavy purse carried by a shoulder strap.
The lower trapezius then refers pain into the upper neck, but does not restrict the neck motion.
|Muscle Description:||Common Name: Trapezius
There are three divisions of the trapezius muscle – upper, middle, and lower.
The upper trapezius extends (allows a person to tilt the head back to look up) and laterally flexes (ear to the shoulder) to the same side.
The middle trapezius fibers work primarily on the scapula to adduct (move closer to the midline) and upwardly rotate to allow for arm movement.
The lower trapezius fibers work to assist in adducting and upwardly rotating the scapula, as well as to stabilize the scapulas during certain movement.