Trigger Point Therapy for Neck and Upper Back Pain.

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

"Weight of the world on the shoulders sensation"

Everyone has had one of those days when you woke up and couldn't turn your head. You were forced to walk around like Frankenstein, if you could manage to walk around at all. Your neck is constantly aching and if try to move it the wrong way a sharp pain punishes you. It can be real misery.

What can an episode of neck pain like this teach us? I think the first lesson is that we just don't realize how critical head movement is to whole body movement. When you are moving around, your head leads the way. If you can't move your head, you have a really have a hard time moving your body at all.


The second lesson is a real simple one; your head is heavy.

It takes a great deal of muscular strength and endurance to hold your head in position and move it. Your neck and shoulder muscles take a real beating throughout the day, and it doesn't take much additional stress to overload these muscles and ignite active trigger points in them.


The last lesson that the annoying neck pain monster teaches us is about posture. When you are battling neck pain you naturally seek head positions that don't put any strain on your aching neck muscles. Usually this means lying down, but if you are in an upright position it means that you are constantly trying to "balance" your head perfectly on your neck. Tilt your head forward or to the side a tiny bit and you are punished by the neck pain.

A good visualization to use for proper posture (and less neck pain) is to imagine that you have a hook on the top (apex) of your head and that a chain is suspending you from the ceiling, like a puppet. This will position your head properly over your shoulders and align your spine naturally, drastically reducing the work load on your neck and back muscles. If you can learn this posture lesson and put into practice in your daily life, it can benefit you in many ways. Not to mention it keeps the neck pain monster away.

If you are currently suffering from neck pain, trigger point therapy will definitely help alleviate the pain and relax your neck muscles. But the most important thing you should do is find a way to rest your overloaded neck muscles. Whether you are seated or lying down, use pillows to support your head so that your neck muscles can relax and rest. Your pain will be your guide.

There are two muscle groups that are the stars in neck pain disorders, the Trapezius and the Levator Scapula, and a few others that are the supporting cast.


The Trapezius Trigger Points that Cause Neck Pain

The Trapezius is the large, diamond shaped muscle group that forms the base of the neck and upper back region. It has attachment points at the base of the skull, along the spine, on the shoulder blade, and on the collar bone.