Trapezitis is a condition in which there is acute pain in the upper trapezius muscle, accompanied by stiffness and difficulty in movement. It is not in itself a disorder but a symptom of an underlying condition. The trapezius is a large muscle that runs from the occipital bone to the thoracic region and consists of three parts: the upper, middle, and lower region, with each having its own functions. Trapezitis occurs in the upper fibres of the trapezius muscle. People who perform heavy and repetitive activities involving the shoulder are most prone to Trapezitis. Even sitting in a bad posture for too long, such as in front of a laptop can result in severe shoulder and neck strain. It is much more prevalent in women than in men mainly because they have a more static work-load.
- Stiffness in neck and shoulder area
- Muscle convulsions and pain
- Numbness and tingling in the arms and shoulder area
- Sudden headaches
- Tenderness and heaviness in the upper shoulder area
The physician will conduct a thorough examination of the shoulder and use imaging procedures if necessary. The symptoms found in trapezitis are also common in shoulder osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis and many more. Therefore, it is very difficult to diagnose this condition. Diagnosis is done mainly by assessing the symptoms and medical history.
The treatment options available for trapezitis are analgesics or NSAID’s, local trapezius trigger injections, ergonomic adjustments to prevent slouching, and physiotherapy. An exercise routine can also help in relieving the pain to a great extent. Physical activity has shown to be highly effective in treating trapezitis along with improving the overall health of the person.
Strength training along with resistance workouts is one of the most successful ways of dealing with neck and shoulder problems.
A few exercises for management are:
Shoulder Shrugs: Stand straight with a neutral back. Now while lifting a light pair of dumbbells on each-side, raise the shoulders upwards focusing on the superior trapezius region. Do 3 sets with 10 reps each.
Lateral Raise: Stand with a straightened back and hold a light pair of dumbbells on each side. Now raise the arms laterally up to the level of your shoulders. Then bring the arms back to the initial position.
Upright Row: Hold a barbell with both hands and lift it vertically in the line of the chest to the level of your collarbone. The elbows should be pointing outwards.
Reverse Flies: Lie on an exercise bench with your chest towards the bench and arms reaching the floor. Lift a pair of dumbbells on each side and raise your arms upwards horizontally. You should feel your shoulder blades touching each other.
Although there are many treatment options available Multi-Disciplinary Treatment is the most effective way of treating trapezitis, especially in the long-run. Along with this, a well-balanced diet is very necessary to ensure a proper intake of nutrients.