Trapezius stretches help the muscle that connects the head to the neck, shoulder and upper back to lengthen and to reduce tension. Improper posture, long hours of driving, sports injuries and sitting for prolonged periods can cause this set of muscles to tighten and strain. Stress on the trapezius muscle can cause pain, migraines, tingling and a numb sensation. A trapezius injury can also cause these symptoms.
Simple Trapezius Muscle Stretching
The upper trapezius muscle is located where the base of the head and neck connect. Stretch this muscle by sitting, looking forward with the head at a natural position, not too far forward or backward. Move your chin down, tilting it toward the right side of your chest, and tilt the top of your head in the direction of your right shoulder. Hold this pose and feel the stretch. To intensify the stretch, you may place your right hand on top of your head and gently press your head toward your right shoulder. Release after 30 seconds, and repeat three times. Then tilt your head and neck to the left side and repeat three times.
To stretch further down the trapezius muscle, simply turn your head more to intensify the angle before tilting it. Repeat the stretch.
You can also do slow head and neck rotations, beginning with your chin on your chest, and slowly rotating it to the right shoulder, back, towards the left shoulder and around to the front again. Repeat this rotation three times, and then reverse the direction. Repeat the rotation three times in the other direction.
Things to Remember
When stretching, breathe deeply and slowly. Do not hold your breath. Also, do not slouch as you stretch. Hold your shoulders in a relaxed position, and keep your upper upright at all times. These stretches can be done while you're sitting or standing, and they'll help provide relief from trapezuis strains.
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