Pain, discomfort and irritation of the trapezius muscle is very common. The upper portion of this muscle can contribute to headaches on a regular basis. Referral pain patterns also extend over the up the back of the neck and into the base of the skull. Intense pain may also radiate to the temples, back of the eyes, and to the angle of the jaw.

The trapezius is a large, superficial muscle that extends from the base of the skull down the spine and laterally out to the tip of the shoulder. It is often implicated in both neck and back pain. Today we will focus on trigger points and pain patterns it is associated with.

Origin: external occipital protuberance (EOP), medial side of superior nuchal line, nuchal ligament & spinous processes of C7-T12 Insertion: lateral 1/3 of the clavicle, acromion, spine of the scapula Action: elevation, retraction (adduction), upward rotation of the scapula, and stabilization of the scapula for arm movements Unilateral: lateral flexion of the head Bilateral: extension of the head

Primary locations for trigger points of the trapezius are located just above the superior border of the scapula and just inferior to the inferior angle of the scapula. Those who are experiencing pain associated with the trapezius report having a tension headache, stiff neck or tight shoulders.

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