Clinical Outcomes and Central Pain Mechanisms are Improved After Upper Traps (Trapezius) Eccentric Training in Female Computer Users with Chronic Neck/Shoulder Pain

Have you ever been told that your upper traps are “overactive”? Have you ever had trigger point release, dry needling, or massage on your upper traps?

The upper traps are an oft misunderstood muscle group, and are quite often incorrectly attributed to contributing to neck and shoulder pain. They are often referred to as “tight” or “knotted” in individuals with neck and shoulder pain, who often work in an office environment.

This article debunks the above myths. Eccentric upper trap exercises were performed by a group of female office workers with reported neck and shoulder pain. Eccentric exercises involve pushing your muscles past their normal maximum weight capacity. Multiple sets and reps were prescribed over a period of 10 sessions (2x sessions a week for 5 weeks), with weight/load increased at certain intervals.

The individuals who underwent the upper traps training program reported significant improvements in pain and function than those in the control group, with immediate improvements in pain sensitivity reported after the first initial session.

This article again illustrates that there is strong evidence for the efficacy of strength training for relieving and preventing pain, both in short and long terms. Work site physical activity programs are becoming more and more utilised to reduce or prevent neck/shoulder symptoms in computer users. One hour of exercise per week and flexibility to fit the training sessions into the work routine are key aspects to achieving a positive impact in this respect.


Upper traps

Upper trap exercises (like the ones illustrated above) with basic equipment is an easily performed activity that can be done in the office space, and is highly effective at improving/preventing any neck and shoulder pain in office workers. These should be used first in treating “tight” or “overactive” upper traps, as a more effective alternative to manual therapy.

Have you experienced shoulder and neck pain and found weight bearing exercises have helped? Or do you have any questions on how weights and clinical exercise at MD Health can help you with your neck and shoulder pain? Comment below.

Want to know more?

If you want more information regarding this article or would like to book for a FREE full body assessment with one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists, call us on 03 9857 0644 or email us at admin@mdhealth.com.au


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