The Trapezius muscle is a large muscle bundle that extends from the back of your head and neck to your shoulder. The muscle is responsible for pulling your shoulders up and back. It moves the scapula and supports the arm. The muscle is comprised of three parts; the upper, middle, and lower. This muscle acts as both a posture stabilizer and for movement.
Often people have discomfort in the upper area, around the top of the shoulders. If you work at a desk or your job involves a lot of driving, you will likely feel this first hand. Being stressed can also manifest to a point where your muscles tense up or become tightened, particularly in the trapezius muscle.
The middle traps help bring the shoulder blades back toward the spine. The lower traps work as a stabilizing action of bringing the shoulder girdle down, which is the opposite of the upper traps.
The trapezius also helps open a small amount of breathing room in your upper chest, and is considered an accessory breathing muscle.
Muscle pain and spasms may affect the traps. Sitting at a desk may cause a decrease in movement, and muscles that remain inactive are more likely to go into spasm and cause pain. Tight upper traps often respond well to massage therapy. Areas of focus should be the shoulders, neck, and down the spinal areas.