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Trapezius Strain

Hi friends.

Today while I was military pressing I strained my left trapezius muscle. I have done this previously, although not for about 18 months. Should be recovered in 3-4 days going on past experiences. The muscle feels tight and is limiting the movement of my head to the left.

Just wondering if there was something I could do in my warm-up to prevent this from happening again??? Im guessing the muscle is tight from working on the computer at work for too long.

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[quote]theBird wrote:
Hi friends.

Today while I was military pressing I strained my left trapezius muscle. I have done this previously, although not for about 18 months. Should be recovered in 3-4 days going on past experiences. The muscle feels tight and is limiting the movement of my head to the left.

Just wondering if there was something I could do in my warm-up to prevent this from happening again??? Im guessing the muscle is tight from working on the computer at work for too long.

tweet[/quote]

Once it is healed, deep tissue massage.

[quote]niksamaras wrote:

[quote]theBird wrote:
Hi friends.

Today while I was military pressing I strained my left trapezius muscle. I have done this previously, although not for about 18 months. Should be recovered in 3-4 days going on past experiences. The muscle feels tight and is limiting the movement of my head to the left.

Just wondering if there was something I could do in my warm-up to prevent this from happening again??? Im guessing the muscle is tight from working on the computer at work for too long.

tweet[/quote]

Once it is healed, deep tissue massage.[/quote]

Thanks man. Ive got an appointment for 3 days time. Usually these heal pretty quick, so Im hoping Ill be ready for some deep tissue fun come 3 days time!

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I bet your head/neck posture sucks

3 sets of chin tucks every day from now on Birdy. Stupidest looking exercise ever but works wonders.

If you don’t know what they are, you basically give yourself a double chin. If you do it right, you should feel the front of the neck tense (it’s an activation exercise for these muscles) and your neck/traps relax while you do it. Hold it for 30 seconds at a time.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
I bet your head/neck posture sucks

3 sets of chin tucks every day from now on Birdy. Stupidest looking exercise ever but works wonders.

If you don’t know what they are, you basically give yourself a double chin. If you do it right, you should feel the front of the neck tense (it’s an activation exercise for these muscles) and your neck/traps relax while you do it. Hold it for 30 seconds at a time.
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Thanks. Ill add it to my ever increasing warm-up routine.

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I have found that massaging with a golf ball/lacross ball really helps to relieve the pressure in the upper back and neck area. Might be something to look into, for preventative maintenance if anything.

[quote]theBird wrote:
Hi friends.

Today while I was military pressing I strained my left trapezius muscle. I have done this previously, although not for about 18 months. Should be recovered in 3-4 days going on past experiences. The muscle feels tight and is limiting the movement of my head to the left.

Just wondering if there was something I could do in my warm-up to prevent this from happening again??? Im guessing the muscle is tight from working on the computer at work for too long.

tweet[/quote]

I had to lay off of overhead pressing and pull downs for over a year due to all kinds of f’d up mess in my upper back/neck/deltoids.

There’s already good advice in this thread, I’ll just add and reiterate a couple of things -

Chin tucks are the greatest exercise ever for anyone who spends too much time on a computer (or at least they were for me). It sounds dumb, but you may even need to film yourself or have some one do a form check - the muscles involved are rarely used voluntarily and can be tricky to activate on your first couple of tries. Successfully done you should feel a comfortable tensing of all the muscles which make up the front of your neck, from collarbone to jaw, and a stretching and relaxing of the muscles which extend from your shoulder girdle to the back of your scalp - you’re not just bringing your jaw in, but making your neck long and straight. Practice them standing, sitting, laying on your back with a slight head lift and laying on your stomach.

Activation of your subscapular muscles, rhomboids and all of the other fidly little muscles that hold your upper back and shoulders together - it sounds obvious, but overhead pressing needs to be balanced with your back stabilizers just like horizontal pressing does. There are lots of good subscap activation drills online, and a good tennis ball massage of the shoulders and the area next to the spine seems to help a lot as well.

Check your weight/check your form - any time I’ve ever hurt myself lifting anything I’ve been using too much weight and screwing around on form. Overhead press is one of my favorites, but I find that I can get a lot of bang for my buck with way less weight than I could maximally lift. Be clear about whether you are doing a strict overhead press or an explosive push press - I see a lot of people who try to start a military press, realize they have too much weight on the bar and finish with an ugly half jerk. Either your feet are planted, your glutes are locked out and you are pressing smoothly and fluidly or you are driving explosively up from your feet and using as much momentum as muscle to get the bar overhead - if you find that you can’t identify which of these actions you are doing you should back off and work on form. Try light presses with a strong static hold in the top position to really feel all of the muscles involved firing.

Good luck!

Is it trapezius or levator scapulae? Not that it makes much difference for rehab, but I find that people who think they have strained their traps have actually strained their levator scap. Here is a picture of where it is located:

http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/LevatorScapulae.html

It runs underneath the trap from the top part of your cervical spine to the medial border of your scapula and can often be palpated as a tight, painful band if you run your hand across it. In normal people it is often tight and painful as well.

Dude, I literally did this same thing yesterday but on my right side…

I’ve done this a few times and this past time, the pain won’t go away. Some days are better than others. Try not to sneeze b/c that’s a B!TCH!!!

I like all these tips in here. I’m going to start implementing them.

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
I bet your head/neck posture sucks

3 sets of chin tucks every day from now on Birdy. Stupidest looking exercise ever but works wonders.

If you don’t know what they are, you basically give yourself a double chin. If you do it right, you should feel the front of the neck tense (it’s an activation exercise for these muscles) and your neck/traps relax while you do it. Hold it for 30 seconds at a time.
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Thanks. Ill add it to my ever increasing warm-up routine.

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So 3, 30 second holds?

[quote]ZJStrope wrote:

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
I bet your head/neck posture sucks

3 sets of chin tucks every day from now on Birdy. Stupidest looking exercise ever but works wonders.

If you don’t know what they are, you basically give yourself a double chin. If you do it right, you should feel the front of the neck tense (it’s an activation exercise for these muscles) and your neck/traps relax while you do it. Hold it for 30 seconds at a time.
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Thanks. Ill add it to my ever increasing warm-up routine.

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So 3, 30 second holds?[/quote]

yeah man, make sure you’re really feeling it working in the front of your neck.

EDIT: and you should feel a gnarly stretch in the back of your neck too

RipSaw- good idea. There are definitely a few spots in my upper back that need some serious “releasing”.

atg40- Thanks. Some good tips in there. Your right about going too heavy. I was a little unsure about the heavy weight, but I thought I would follow through as my “program” told me to do it. Im going to drop the weight.

smallmike- Im not sure what exact muscle it is, but Im thinking I have “twinged” a nerve maybe. I dont think its a muscle strain anymore.

Kakarat- twins!!!

ZJstrope- Yes it is a pain, it hurts to even move around when sleeping.

rds- Ive been trying the new exercise, although Im not sure if Im doing it right. Ill keep at it.

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For those that suffer a similar in jury to mine, please dont forget to check the soft tissue quality of your pectorals. I had found a massive knot in the left side pectorus today, and after releasing it, my neck already feels better.

The pectoral muscle was pulling on mu shoulder and straining my trapezius.

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Foam roll your it band and rectus and get your glutes stronger. That will take care of this.

[quote]Shadowzz4 wrote:
Foam roll your it band and rectus and get your glutes stronger. That will take care of this.[/quote]

Cereal? Why the glutes?

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The force couple at the scapula incorporates the serratus, upper trap and lower trap primarily. When your hips aren’t sorted out, the serratus and lower trap do not work well seemingly due to a dysfunction in thoracic movement and stability that allows for proper function of the serratus and lower trap. So the upper trap ends up doing even more work in an attempt to rotate the scapula.

I will second the postural exercises, especially chin tucks & other neck/trap postural exercises. You have to do the chin tucks right, as your neck will want to move upward when you do the chin tucks. Neck perfectly horizontal while doing chin tucks. You should feel it in your upper trap, scalene muscles, etc.

Swiss ball exercises work wonders as well. At the end of the day, the older you get & the more your ignore posture/functional exercises, the more you will regret it later.