T Nation

Injured Trap and Neck Pain Rehab?

I will try and summarize this the best I can.

The week of Thanksgiving I strained my neck. It was painful to turn right, forward, and backwards. I dont know how I did it. I had just gotten back form Walt Disney and felt fine. I did legs and chest that day and during the workout it was fine. After the workout my neck started hurting and as the day progressed it got worse.

I went to a chiropractor 5 times and had little to any luck.

After stopping weight training for 6-7 weeks and doing STEM on it nightly the pain has subsided enough to start lifting again.

I trained 2x last week and today was my 2nd time this week.

My chiropractor said my spine was fine but thought a tear or strain could have happened in my middle trapezius.

Anyways it is continuing to improve. I just want to know exactly what I did and if in fact it was a strain/tear in my trapezius.

Finally what are some good middle trapezius rehab exercises and what type of rep scheme should I try?

The past few workouts I have used lighter weight for anything that directly impacts that area.

I’ve got same sort of issues, strained my trap really bad from carrying sandbags around on one shoulder for a couple months(happened over time).

I’ve had tightness in my right trap/side of my neck ever since and it’s been over a year now.

I think it has just been so persistant due to me having forward head posture. I came up with this theory as I am most comfortable during sets of deadlifts at the top when my head/neck/spine are all in proper alignment.

[quote]Btris wrote:
I dont know how I did it. I had just gotten back form Walt Disney and felt fine.[/quote]

Sorry, I can’t see how you think you injured it? Were you deadlifting or something?

Face pulls are a good light exercise for middle and lower trapezius.

I did something similar by accidentally catching a clean with my elbows together, I just stayed away from direct trap work after a recovery period for a good two months and it feels fine now.

[quote]Btris wrote:
I will try and summarize this the best I can.

The week of Thanksgiving I strained my neck. It was painful to turn right, forward, and backwards. I dont know how I did it. I had just gotten back form Walt Disney and felt fine. I did legs and chest that day and during the workout it was fine. After the workout my neck started hurting and as the day progressed it got worse.

I went to a chiropractor 5 times and had little to any luck.

After stopping weight training for 6-7 weeks and doing STEM on it nightly the pain has subsided enough to start lifting again.

I trained 2x last week and today was my 2nd time this week.

My chiropractor said my spine was fine but thought a tear or strain could have happened in my middle trapezius.

Anyways it is continuing to improve. I just want to know exactly what I did and if in fact it was a strain/tear in my trapezius.

Finally what are some good middle trapezius rehab exercises and what type of rep scheme should I try?

The past few workouts I have used lighter weight for anything that directly impacts that area. [/quote]

Do you have any other symptoms?

I ask only because I’ve been going through a similar thing for about year. I’ve seen two othorpedic doctors and one chiro. I heard for a year that I had “sprained a rib” or was having rhomboid spasms that would grab my rib and not allow it return to its “socket”. Eventually I noticed a building weakness in my dominant right triceps and then some noticable atrophy. Then the chiro ordered a year end MRI and turns out I had herniated a disk at C6-7 which was causing the rhomboid spasms and leading to the lack of “electricity” to my triceps.

I offer that merely as an encouragement to seek multiple opinions if the pain persists or resurfaces. Ask questions and seek the root cause of the issue, especially if it involves your spine.

Couple good exercises to hit the area your targeting:

  1. Band pull aparts with supinated grip
  2. Reverse Flys with thumubs up
  3. Face pulls

[quote]DragnCarry wrote:
Btris wrote:
I dont know how I did it. I had just gotten back form Walt Disney and felt fine.

Sorry, I can’t see how you think you injured it? Were you deadlifting or something?

Face pulls are a good light exercise for middle and lower trapezius.

[/quote]

No was doing quads I think that workout I did squats, leg presses, and lunges. For chest I did bench press, incline dbs, and chest press machine lockouts. That is it and I do not recall being in pain after the workout but I remember while taking a shower my neck starting to hurt.

[quote]ajcook99 wrote:
Btris wrote:
I will try and summarize this the best I can.

The week of Thanksgiving I strained my neck. It was painful to turn right, forward, and backwards. I dont know how I did it. I had just gotten back form Walt Disney and felt fine. I did legs and chest that day and during the workout it was fine. After the workout my neck started hurting and as the day progressed it got worse.

I went to a chiropractor 5 times and had little to any luck.

After stopping weight training for 6-7 weeks and doing STEM on it nightly the pain has subsided enough to start lifting again.

I trained 2x last week and today was my 2nd time this week.

My chiropractor said my spine was fine but thought a tear or strain could have happened in my middle trapezius.

Anyways it is continuing to improve. I just want to know exactly what I did and if in fact it was a strain/tear in my trapezius.

Finally what are some good middle trapezius rehab exercises and what type of rep scheme should I try?

The past few workouts I have used lighter weight for anything that directly impacts that area.

Do you have any other symptoms?

I ask only because I’ve been going through a similar thing for about year. I’ve seen two othorpedic doctors and one chiro. I heard for a year that I had “sprained a rib” or was having rhomboid spasms that would grab my rib and not allow it return to its “socket”. Eventually I noticed a building weakness in my dominant right triceps and then some noticable atrophy.

Then the chiro ordered a year end MRI and turns out I had herniated a disk at C6-7 which was causing the rhomboid spasms and leading to the lack of “electricity” to my triceps.

I offer that merely as an encouragement to seek multiple opinions if the pain persists or resurfaces. Ask questions and seek the root cause of the issue, especially if it involves your spine.

Couple good exercises to hit the area your targeting:

  1. Band pull aparts with supinated grip
  2. Reverse Flys with thumubs up
  3. Face pulls

[/quote]

Thanks for sharing. It is funny this is my second week back lifting and I have a muscle spasm now in my lower left lat. When I do massages on it with a foam roller it feels good but slowly returns back to a spasm. My neck/trap as I said feels better and better as the weeks past but it is one slow healing injury.

I may give in and go get in checked by a doctor. I thought it would heal on its own and I am already out a couple of hundred from these worthless chiro I saw…not to say chiro are bad I think they are good but the ones I saw are nothing but money makers. I love it when they say let me look at your insurance and set you up on a plan. I am like why do you F$%Kin fix me and we will worry about how many visits it takes once it is finally healed. Sorry frustrated.

[quote]Btris wrote:

Thanks for sharing. It is funny this is my second week back lifting and I have a muscle spasm now in my lower left lat. When I do massages on it with a foam roller it feels good but slowly returns back to a spasm. My neck/trap as I said feels better and better as the weeks past but it is one slow healing injury.

I may give in and go get in checked by a doctor. I thought it would heal on its own and I am already out a couple of hundred from these worthless chiro I saw…not to say chiro are bad I think they are good but the ones I saw are nothing but money makers. I love it when they say let me look at your insurance and set you up on a plan. I am like why do you F$%Kin fix me and we will worry about how many visits it takes once it is finally healed. Sorry frustrated. [/quote]

I hear your frustration brother. I’ve learned some tough lessons about the medical/health industry the hard way…by way of my WALLET!! Luckily I found a good chiro, one who specialized in sports injuries and has an ART practicioner on his staff. He does his billing such that in the same hour session I get deep tissue massage and ART for 35 minutes before I see him. All on the same copay. My biggest frustrations are with physical therapists, haven’t found a good one yet. Good luck with the injury, if I were you I’d get it checked out by a doc. Just from my experience I’ve learned that muscle spasms are often the body’s reaction to trying to keep a different part of the body from further injury. I would find a doc that works with primarily athletes though, ie if you look around the waiting room and all you see is old, fat or unathletic looking people chances are your going to hear the doc giving you crap about how lifting is dangerous.

A major piece to treating neck and back problems is posture. Bad posture is the root of all evil and good posture will pave your way to salvation.

[quote]danjo228 wrote:
A major piece to treating neck and back problems is posture. Bad posture is the root of all evil and good posture will pave your way to salvation.[/quote]

Posture and sleep position, even more important the bigger you get.
You spend approximately 8 hours a day in one position in should be a good one.

If you don’t feel pain during the exercise, it’s likely not the exercise causing your pain. It could be either a build up of tension caused by lack of blood flow and or nutrients, or doing it too often. Or sometimes people get a little pain when they’re breaking plateaus, keep pushing through it then SLOW DOWN, not before the platueas. Otherwise you’ll just create a cycle of getting a little stronger and alot weaker, and keep the weight up.

I would add some cardio/stretching massage therapy and foam rolling as much as you can until you can exercise without pain.

I’m not saying to avoid the doctor this is just what I would do if i wasn’t ready to pay doc just yet.

[quote]ajcook99 wrote:
Btris wrote:

Thanks for sharing. It is funny this is my second week back lifting and I have a muscle spasm now in my lower left lat. When I do massages on it with a foam roller it feels good but slowly returns back to a spasm. My neck/trap as I said feels better and better as the weeks past but it is one slow healing injury.

I may give in and go get in checked by a doctor. I thought it would heal on its own and I am already out a couple of hundred from these worthless chiro I saw…not to say chiro are bad I think they are good but the ones I saw are nothing but money makers.

I love it when they say let me look at your insurance and set you up on a plan. I am like why do you F$%Kin fix me and we will worry about how many visits it takes once it is finally healed. Sorry frustrated.

I hear your frustration brother. I’ve learned some tough lessons about the medical/health industry the hard way…by way of my WALLET!! Luckily I found a good chiro, one who specialized in sports injuries and has an ART practicioner on his staff. He does his billing such that in the same hour session I get deep tissue massage and ART for 35 minutes before I see him.

All on the same copay. My biggest frustrations are with physical therapists, haven’t found a good one yet. Good luck with the injury, if I were you I’d get it checked out by a doc. Just from my experience I’ve learned that muscle spasms are often the body’s reaction to trying to keep a different part of the body from further injury.

I would find a doc that works with primarily athletes though, ie if you look around the waiting room and all you see is old, fat or unathletic looking people chances are your going to hear the doc giving you crap about how lifting is dangerous. [/quote]

Whats sad is this guy was a ART pract. and chiro. The guy was a joke and spent a sum total each time of maybe 5-10 minutes with only 5 minute of stem…what the hell is that suppose to do? Then I paid out of pocket $170+ for 3 visits and I had insurance.

[quote]danjo228 wrote:
A major piece to treating neck and back problems is posture. Bad posture is the root of all evil and good posture will pave your way to salvation.[/quote]

I agree. I have a problem with head posture. Typical head going forward. It doesnt help that I sit at a computer 70-80% of the day and the chair sucks.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
danjo228 wrote:
A major piece to treating neck and back problems is posture. Bad posture is the root of all evil and good posture will pave your way to salvation.

Posture and sleep position, even more important the bigger you get.
You spend approximately 8 hours a day in one position in should be a good one.

If you don’t feel pain during the exercise, it’s likely not the exercise causing your pain. It could be either a build up of tension caused by lack of blood flow and or nutrients, or doing it too often. Or sometimes people get a little pain when they’re breaking plateaus, keep pushing through it then SLOW DOWN, not before the platueas. Otherwise you’ll just create a cycle of getting a little stronger and alot weaker, and keep the weight up.

I would add some cardio/stretching massage therapy and foam rolling as much as you can until you can exercise without pain.

I’m not saying to avoid the doctor this is just what I would do if i wasn’t ready to pay doc just yet.[/quote]

I am bad about my position when I sleep. I am a stomach and side sleeper…never on my back.

By the way I found a chiro that is suppose to be good with copay and have had a large handful of people talk highly of him. So maybe I will have a good chiro. Next like I need a good doc and therapist.

Can someone please tell me what STEM is? And yes, i used Google for about an hour. Please help!

[quote]decapsk8 wrote:
Can someone please tell me what STEM is? And yes, i used Google for about an hour. Please help![/quote]
I would guess he means stim, as in electric muscle stim-ulation / TENS trans-cutaneous nerve stim.

For the OP, a forward head lean places constant compression to the cervical discs causing them to bulge.

My fear would be that you injured a cervical disc. Your pain could be dermatomal (referred from the disc). You could have a pre-disposition because of the forward head posture, and you may have finished the job while squatting that day.

However, you stated that the pain is improving. As long as it continues to improve at a reasonable rate, I would try not to worry too much. To help prevent relapses, try hard to work on your sleep position and posture. Side sleeping is OK if your pillow is thick enough to keep your head in line with your body. Ideal is on your back with a relatively thin pillow under your head, and extra support under your neck. Stomach sleeping is a no-no; it pushes your head back and, most likely, forcibly to one side.