Trapezius trigger points

Literally “trigger point”, the trigger point refers to areas or muscle groups affected by tension and pain.

Although it can occur in many areas of the body, as for the upper trapezius trigger point, you can now increase your skills regarding the trapezius trigger point, considered among the most popular.

As an operator of the sector or an aspirant, you probably could already have some knowledge on the subject; but if you got here, it is because you want an in-depth study, as trapezius referred pain. that provides you with the cognitive tools to be able to offer your patients a more accurate trapezium trigger point treatment, as well as a more professional approach.

Below you will find information and details relating to the topic, through which to clarify, in case of doubts or concerns, or simply to refine and optimize your knowledge in this regard, increasing your professional level.

Trapezius referred pain

If you do your job without ever losing sight of your passion and you are animated by the desire to enrich yourself as a professional, immerse yourself in reading and come to know more specifically what happens in the presence of the trapezius muscle trigger point and with what tools to intervene on it.

First of all what is meant by trapezius trigger points? It is a physical condition that occurs in the presence of the formation of nodules or points of high irritability of the musculoskeletal system, in particular of the muscle fibers.

One of the characteristics of the trigger point is that the pain radiates to larger areas than the one where it is located.

Going specifically, the trapezius myofascial pain is generated in the area between the spine and one of the limbs. More precisely, the trapeze starts:

  • From the top of the neck, i.e. from the medial third
  • From the VII cervical vertebra
  • From the nuchal ligament
  • From the external occipital protuberance
  • From the thoracic vertebrae
  • To go to insert into the spine of the scapula, in the posterior lateral
  • third of the clavicle and in the acromion.

So if the trapezius pressure point is compressed, the pain related to it could be perceived in distant areas.

What symptoms make an active trapezius trigger point recognizable

A careful and competent observation analysis makes the presence of the trapezoid trigger point easily recognizable. Main symptoms can be summarized as follows (upper, middle and lower trapezius trigger point):

Presence of pain at the height of the muscle groups
Presence of pain in conjunction with a muscle lump
Trigger points are always generated on a muscle and can be caused for different reasons. In fact, at the origin of the trapezius trigger points there can be various causes: localized trauma, muscle overload, pathological problems or psychological discomforts, infections, etc.

With trigger points, the muscles contract, forming nodules. This results in the possibility that tendons and ligaments may also be affected.

As a professional you can identify the trapezius trigger points by palpation and also by evaluating the symptoms. This is where your intervention for treatment and patient care starts.

Trapezius trigger point release

Approaching the trapezius trigger points in the right way is essential to help the patient feel better and eliminate pain, both local and widespread in other areas.

For this reason, learning the right maneuvers to perform is fundamental, for recovery in a short time and to ensure a lasting and definitive result. In the treatment of the myofascial trigger point it is essential not to underestimate the importance of oxygenation of the affected tissue, to encourage the flow of blood.

Being qualified in these procedures is of course a necessary condition, because for example the oxygenation of the tissues takes place through an ischemic compression maneuver to be performed appropriately.

Trapezius muscle pain trigger can be treated with slightly different techniques. Here are the most common:

  • Dry needling: also known as “dry puncture”, it consists in inserting a needle in the affected muscle band, or on the fibrous band where the trigger point is present. The needle is left in place for about a couple of minutes. In the most critical cases, delicate rotations are exercised. This promotes oxygenation and the flow of blood and creates the basis for simplifying the operation to untie the knot. Unlike acupuncture, dry needling is performed precisely at the point where the trigger point is present.
  • Hold and Relax: literally “hold and relax”, it is a technique that consists of two phases. During the first, the muscle affected by the trigger point is contracted and during the second, when the muscle relaxes, it is worked in stretching. Performed a few times, it allows you to dissolve the trigger points.
  • Post isometric relaxation: very similar to the previous technique, it acts without sharpening or awakening pain. It is performed for 3 cycles and integrates it with specific breathing movements.

Other trapezius trigger point deactivation techniques consist of applying heat through hot compresses that promote muscle relaxation; in acupressure; in the stripping massage (performed with a certain force of the fingers); in friction massage (to loosen muscle hardening); in the cyclic kneading massage or in the periosteal therapy, that is based on a wave pressure.

As you can see there are different techniques and for each there are specific maneuvers that must be carried out with precision and calibrating the force correctly. Not simple massages but movements based on techniques developed with in-depth studies.

In the context of the same treatment technique, there are also very precise movements, which go from light to deep brushing (performed to allow liquids to flow), from planing to tensioning the muscle affected by the trapezius trigger point.

It is important to suggest that the patient associate a regular exercise with your treatment that helps maintain the trapezius trigger point range.

Trapezius trigger point types: active and latent

First of all, the trigger point can be myofascial, fascial, periosteum and ligament and within the trigger point (trapezius or any other muscle band), two types of manifestation can occur:

  • Active trigger point
  • Latent trigger point

In the first case, the trigger is the cause of pain that is felt not necessarily behind stimulation. More precisely if it is the trapezius trigger point, for example, the patient experiences pain in the cranial and ocular fascia.

In the second case, however, the trigger point shows almost no symptoms. The pain is not persistent and is not perceived by the patient, except when you go to touch the part directly affected by the trigger point.


Many of your colleagues, or aspirants such, believe that the trigger point is a problem that can arise in patients who perform competitive sports and that does not concern any other type of people.

This is a mistaken consideration, because if it is true that at the base of a trigger point there may be an excessive effort of the muscle, it is also true that this condition can occur on anyone. Excessive weight load with incorrect posture can occur at home, as in an office.

Technically, muscle overload causes the fracture of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. In this condition, calcium ions are released which give rise to contractions which cause compression of the capillaries.

This is why the ions cannot “re-enter” into the sarcoplasmic reticulum and the contraction degenerates, forming the strips that can be palpated, ie the so-called upper trapezius trigger points or of the surrounding areas.

How to acquire competence in the treatment of the trapezius trigger point

If you are part of operators in the sector who love to work with passion and choose to offer quality services and services to their patients, then you are certainly not one who stops at a knowledge of the basics.

It is precisely to professionals like you that we prefer to contact. Because there is a big difference between doing a job and doing it with passion. Going to the bottom and wanting to improve is the key to success.

If you choose to open the front door to a bright and successful career, you must start by training yourself appropriately.

So if you are looking for a tool that will enable you to offer your patients the latest techniques in the treatment of myofascial release upper, middle and lower trapezius, then you are in the right place. You can find a complete and clear training program, which provides you with the highest skills to make you a true professional.

Not only mere technique, but application examples, detailed information and simple explanations by those in your sector.

Your passion is all you need, together with your commitment, to make that leap in quality that you have long wanted to accomplish.

Regardless of whether you already work as a massage therapist, physiotherapist or massage therapist or are about to start your career now, we have developed a complete course program, for those starting from scratch and for those who are already practical . A series of insights on the various treatment techniques of the trapezius trigger point, on the symptoms to recognize it, on the type of diagnosis and much more, is what you can acquire through fast, simple and complete training courses.

If you love to get to the bottom of things and increase your skills as an operator in the sector, then the path to success is closer than you think: specializing is easy, if you know who to trust!