The trapezius muscles, commonly known as “traps,” are wide, flat superficial muscles that cover most of the upper back and the back of the neck. Named for their trapezoidal shape, trapezius muscles are responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the shoulder blades and supporting the head. There are two trapezius muscles, one on the right and one on the left, and they meet at the vertebral column. Trapezius muscles are used to tilt and turn the head and neck, shrug and steady the shoulders, and twist the arms.
Common injuries to the trapezius muscles include whiplash, neck strain due to reading or looking at a cell phone or continually looking at a computer screen, and/or poor posture. Neck strain and sprain symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation.
Treatment options include physical therapy, massage, stretching/strengthening exercises, and hot/cold therapy