The trapezius is a large muscle that runs through the shoulders and the entire upper back. As so many people spend hours in front of their computer or looking at their cell phone, it tends to be sore and tense at the end of the day. Fortunately, all you need to do is do a few simple exercises, such as turning your head left and right, to stretch the area. You can also try massage techniques that alleviate certain pressure points, as well as change your overall lifestyle. Follow the steps in this article and solve your problems in no time!
Part 1 of 3: Doing simple stretches
Step 1. Turn your head left and right
Stand or sit and correct your spine and back posture. Turn your head to the right until it is parallel to your shoulder. Then return to the starting position and repeat the movement. Then do it all over again, but on the left side.
- Use slow, smooth movements, without moving your head more than necessary.
- You don't need to rest your head on your shoulders. The simple turning movement releases tension in the muscles and relaxes the joints.
Step 2. Lengthen your neck to the sides
Stand or sit and look straight ahead. Tilt your head to the left and place your hand over your ear, pulling slightly downward. Meanwhile, put your right hand on your back from the bottom up, trying to touch the scapula, but not changing your position. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
- Repeat the movement in the other direction, reversing the use of your hands.
- When bending over, don't try to lower your head to your shoulder.
Step 3. Give yourself a tight hug
Keep your spine straight. Cross your arms over your chest until you are holding your shoulders with your hands on opposite sides, and use some force. Meanwhile, stretch the muscle by tilting your head to the right and forward. Count 30 seconds in this position.
Repeat the process on the other side: continue pressing shoulders with inverted hands and tilt your head to the left and forward for 30 seconds
Step 4. Contract the scapulae with full force
Stand straight and bring your shoulder blades together as if you were holding a pencil between them. At the same time, try to lower your shoulders towards your ribs.
Stay in this position for a few seconds. Then go back to the beginning and do a few reps to stretch your muscles
Step 5. Wear a long, wide belt to release tension in your back
You can use a yoga belt or join two regular belts together. Place the accessory in the middle of your back, pass the ends forward and then over the respective shoulders. Then throw the ends to the back again, but cross the sides and pull the material back slightly. This process helps to release tension in the trapezius.
You can also fasten the belts when joining the two ends. Squeeze as far as you feel comfortable and wait as long as you can
Part 2 of 3: Using Massage Techniques
Step 1. Warm up the trapezius region
Place a thermal bag on the trapeze for 20 minutes. If this is not possible, take a warm bath and soak the area for five to ten minutes.
You can even improvise a thermal bag with things you already have at home
Step 2. Massage your shoulders with your hands
Cross your arms over your chest and place your hands on opposite sides of the shoulders. Gently massage the area with your fingers, as if you were making a pizza dough. Apply moderate pressure, being careful not to hurt yourself.
- If you prefer, do this massage one side at a time.
- You can repeat the massage two or three times on each shoulder.
Step 3. Rub your fingers over the pressure points on your shoulders
Press the area where you are feeling pain with your fingers. Use a little force and count for a minute. Gradually, the tension will start to dissipate.
- Generally, pressure points are in two possible places: in the middle of the spine, just above the area where the scapulae meet; or to the right or left of the spine, where the neck meets the shoulder blades.
- If you can't reach this area with your fingers, use a massager, back scratcher, or other long accessory. Any such object serves to relieve tension on the trapeze.
Part 3 of 3: Changing Your Lifestyle
Step 1. Make it a habit to correct your posture on a daily basis
Generally speaking, it is always correct to slump your shoulders and tilt your head back, without hunching over. Imagine a straight line running through your body from head to toe.
- Adopting a correct posture in everyday life can already be enough to reduce pain in the trapezius.
- Also, avoid doing any activity where you need to lean too far on one side or both sides (such as holding the phone between your shoulder and your ear).
Step 2. Sleep on your side to keep your head straight
If you sleep on your stomach, your head will always turn to one side - which increases the pressure on the trapezius. Therefore, try to rest on your side so as not to create any tension in your muscles.
You can also sleep on your back, as long as your head is not facing any way
Step 3. Don't carry heavy backpacks on your back
Any heavy backpack causes pain in the trapeze. Therefore, create the habit of carrying on your back only what is indispensable.
- Depending on the case, you're better off carrying a handbag or something.
- If you need to walk with a cross-back backpack, at least alternate between your shoulders.
- This same principle holds true for tight-strap bras and tops. If you use pieces of this genre, buy items of the right size.
Step 4. Place electronic devices at eye level
Almost everyone hunchbacks when looking at a computer or smartphone screen, but that does the trapeze very bad. If this happens to you, think of a way to put the device's screen at eye level. It might feel awkward holding the phone so high, but it's less risky.
If you work at a desk or table, buy a notebook stand or place some books under the monitor
Step 5. Adjust the height of the keyboard and chair arms
Try to work sitting in a chair with side support, as your arms will gradually get heavier and, over time, also cause your muscles to ache. Also, adjust the height of the keyboard, which should be level with your forearms (with your elbows bent 90 degrees). Never raise your hands to type.