Week 1: Stretching the Upper Trapezius
By Trent Brooke, DPT
AZOPT Goodyear Physical Therapist
Type of stretch: Static
Place your left hand over the top of the right side of your head. Gently pull your head toward to the left shoulder. Keep your right arm placed comfortably behind your back. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds and switch arms and directions. Repeat 2-3 times, twice daily.
Why stretch the upper trapezius?
The upper trapezius muscle runs from the skull to the upper vertebra of the spine. It contracts during many daily activities including: working at a computer, holding a telephone between your ear and shoulder, and during repetitive reaching activities. These activities can increase tension in the muscle and create spasms. The muscle can become tense and tight with stress. Stretching the upper trapezius can help restore movement, decrease muscle spasm and tissue tension, contribute to a reduction in headaches, and help with certain types of recoveries from injury.