Trapezius Pain That's Here to Stay

Have you ever had upper trapezius pain that just wouldn't go away?

You probably massaged it or had someone else massage it, but it just. Wouldn't. Budge.

That's because pain is just a symptom. Unless you address the source, anything you do is just a temporary fix.

Hi, my name is Lovelace Linares, and I am the owner of Somatic Impact. I have been practicing and teaching massage and manual therapy for thirteen years.

This video will show you my number one go-to spot to release the pain in upper trapezius without actually touching it.

Trapezius has Relationships

The upper trapezius is the muscle that goes across the top of your shoulder.

Among other things, it helps you to raise your arm out to the side, a movement called abduction.

As the title of this post promises, I am not going to teach you how to keep rubbing your trapezius raw. We're going to look the muscles that do the opposite action. They bring your arm down while you're doing something like a wide grip pull-up or lat pull down.

These antagonists to trapezius have a lot to do with how well (or not) the trapezius functions. 

They are located in your armpit on the edge of your shoulder blade.

The Massage Techniques

Anyway, all you need to do is grasp the muscles in this area between your fingers and massage. The technique that works best for me is a technique called sifting.

Just squeeze the muscles between your fingers and pull sideways across them. You can also use some static pressure with your thumb to target any areas that are particularly sore. Try to create a pulling movement, even with your thumb, to get the best effect.

How's it feel in there, by the way? Most people have some tenderness in here that you didn't even know you had.

Another technique you can try is to hold static pressure in an area and rotate your arm. This way the muscles basically massage themselves.

A Couple Pointers

If you move slowly and methodically, you should be able to get a decent release of these muscles. It may be tempting to keep working this area until all the tension is gone, but be careful not to overwork it. 

DON'T bruise yourself!

Pain is Just a Symptom

It's really counterintuitive to massage your armpit when your traps are what's hurting. I have the same conflict when my traps hurt. 

Even though I know that working these muscles will help, my mind fights it. It keeps telling me that the pain is somewhere else, why waste my time rubbing something that doesn't hurt?

Remember, pain is just a symptom. Address the source, and the pain will go away.

What if you try this, and it didn't work for you? Well, it could be one of two things. 

The first one to consider is that maybe your not quite in the right area or that you need coaching on technique. 

The other possibility is that your shoulder pain is coming from something else. The only way to find out is to get a proper assessment. 

Anyway thank you for joining me. If you found this video useful, you should get my newsletter below where I share tips just like this.

Again, my name is Lovelace Linares at Somatic Impact.

Care for your body, and your body will care for you.

About the Author

My name is Lovelace Linares. I have been practicing massage in Atlanta since 2001. I taught all aspects of massage for nine years, five of which I directed the massage program at the Atlanta School of Massage.

I'm a bit unconventional in my thinking. I believe that self discovery is the purpose of life. Through it, we can all achieve our greatest potentiontial, both individually and as a society.

To that end, i believe that true relaxation comes from two things: (1) Alleviating pain that you are aware of and (2) addressing tension you are not aware of. Self-awareness is the key.

My practice is located inside Urban Body Studios on the scenic Atlanta Beltline. Orthopedics, Deep tissue, Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy, Thai massage, and stretching are some of the techniques that I use in my practice.