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Pain Management Physiotherapy

Trapezial Myalgia & You

Hi, and welcome to my latest blog. Today I’d like to talk about a topic close to my heart, because of my personal experience with it recently. 

Being naturally curious, I decided to make myself a subject and try different approaches to accelerate my healing. So this is all about my experience and the strategies which helped me to manage it.

What’s it all about?

In short, Trapezial Myalgia is the inflammation of the trapezius muscle on one or both sides. The trapezius is very important functionally as it connects and provides stability to the neck, shoulder, and upper back. 

What did it feel like?

Trapezial Myalgia started with mild stiffness at the base of my neck, which quickly became a sharp pricking pain spreading all over from my upper back, shoulders, neck, and even chest. In 30 minutes, I was in significant pain and developed a throbbing headache. I also felt exhausted and anxious, my sleep was disturbed, and the fatigue and pain continued over the next 3 days.

 How do you get it?

Typical causes of Trapezial Myalgia are injuries caused by accidents such as a fall on your side that suddenly twists your neck.

Lifting my chin up higher rather than moving my head causing a poking chin posture as in my case.

A constant state of dehydration is where your urine is more coloured than it should be.

Lack of adequate sunlight exposure ie less than 15 min every day.

The 3 stages of healing and Strategies that helped.

Freezing stage

(Immediate after the injury and can last up to 2 days)

In this, you feel a continuous throbbing and a headache on the same side of the injury. The neck feels stuck and any movement to it aggravates the headache. The goal is to reduce pain. You can try the following

Alternate hot and cold compress- Do it for 3min every hour. Start with Cold for 1 min – Hot pack for 1 min and end it with a cold pack for 1 min. This will bring the local inflammation down and give pain relief.

Adequate hydration- 3-4 liters of water every day. It will help to flush the pain substance out and improve circulation.

Walk- Stroll ideally in sunlight for 15 -20 min.

Belly breathe- Be in any comfortable position. Breathe in through your nose such that the belly should come out and out by gently tucking the belly back in. Keep the shoulders and neck relaxed throughout. Breathe in counting 4 and out to the same count. Repeat 2 times every hour.

Stiffness stage( Last up to 3 days after the freezing stage)

There is minimal pain but a generalized stiffness and soreness in the area. Neck movements are still restricted and shoulder movements are slowly getting free.

Continue with Cold compress for 2 min every 2 hours.

Chin tucks- Be seated in a comfortable position and just move the chin to the back of your head keeping the head in line with the neck. You will feel some work at the back of the neck. Repeat 2-3 times every hour. Can do it lying on the back or on the chest too if comfortable.

Expose to sunlight for 15 min every day

Belly breathing.

Prevention of relapse stage( From the time you feel 70-80 % better)

This is the most important stage of healing. Posture awareness, breath, adequate sleep, and good nutrition play an important role.

Basic Suryanamaskars with focus on the form- Pause at each step for 3-5 breaths and can do 8-10 rounds as a beginner and work up to 12-24 rounds over 4 weeks. Focus on keeping the breathing even and the shoulders relaxed throughout the practice. Can end it with 3-5 rounds of seated or lying belly breathing.

Walk with arm swing 15-30 min every alternate day.

Chin tucks as above while working.

Belly breathing – 3-5 times every 90 min.

Look away from the monitor every 60 min for 2 min.

Mindfully relax the jaw, shoulders, and belly.

I hope all of these techniques help you to be pain-free and remain so… Move more and live better

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