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Trapezius Muscles that cause Headaches

This is the first instalment of our blog series about muscles that cause headaches. Namely, the Trapezius muscle. This muscle is one of the most treated muscles in my chiropractic practice. Regularly we get asked questions about this muscle. Including, ‘Can a Chiropractor treat this muscle?’, or “What causes these headaches?”. So, these will all be answered in this blog.

Trapezius muscle - Dr Gert Ferreira - Chiropractor in Centurion

Anatomy:

The Trapezius muscle is attached to the base of the skull and parts of the neck. The muscle inserts onto the lateral 1/3 of the clavicle, and the spine of the scapula. Futhermore, the muscle is innervated by the spinal accessory nerve. In other words, the nerve that feeds the muscle
 
The Trapezius muscle is divided into three parts, upper, middle and lower fibers. Actions of this muscle include the following. Namely, elevation and retraction of the scapula, lateral flexion of the head as well as extension of the head.
 

Common injuries:

Postural fatigue syndrome due to repetitive work and posture sitting at desk. There are other factors that can injure the muscle. Including, forward rotated shoulders, whiplash, one side sports activities and cradling a phone with one shoulder.

Referral pain pattern:

The headaches that we see in our chiropractic practice is showed above. Typical headache on the base of the skull, the tension neck ache pain. It can stretch all the way around to the temples and back of the eyes. 

Pain pattern of trapezius

How a Chiropractor can treat this muscle:

Typically a Chiropractor will do an array of soft tissue work (muscle work) that includes, massage, myofascial dry needling (wrongly referred as Acupuncture), kinesio taping (RockTape) and even Fascia “release”.

A Chiropractic adjustment will be delivered to the affected neck vertebrae to “reset” the body system and try to get homeostasis.

Home treatment includes:

Stretching – Click here for stretches 

Ice or Heat therapy – Click here for a blog on Ice therapy, but heat therapy can work just as well

If you suffer from lower back pain due to the Trapezius muscles, make an appointment to see your chiropractor.

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