When I ask clients what areas are bothering them the most, the most common response I get is “my neck and shoulders are always tight”, then they bring their hands up to the juncture where their neck meets their shoulders. Does that sound like you?
We’ve talked before about what trigger points are, and that they can cause pain elsewhere. This month, we’re going to point out a very common trigger point that’s responsible for a lot of neck and shoulder pain– the second head of the trapezius.
Some common factors that create and aggravate this trigger point include:
- Muscle overload caused by carrying heavy bags, purses, briefcases, etc.
- Keyboard too high while working
- Resting telephone on your shoulder
- Sleeping on your side
- Lifting heavy objects above your head
You can find this trigger point easily by taking your hand, and placing it on your opposite shoulder, next to your neck. Which is pretty much the area clients grab when they tell me their neck and shoulders are always tight. If pressing directly down on the trigger point is too much work for your hands, try “hooking” it by grabbing slightly below, and bringing your hand forward. You’ll know when you’ve got it by the “it hurts good” ache you’ll feel traveling up into the base of your head.
It can be a difficult one to reach yourself, so if you’re having trouble, try enlisting the help of a friend, or I suggest using a TheraCane. Or the curved handle of an umbrella might work, too!