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Other/Mixed Painful stiffness in upper trapezius - advice to lose & warm-up?

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)
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Hi comrades in steel,

Since a while I have increasing and painful stiffness in the upper traps.

Waver: I take full, unlimited responsibility for whether & how I process your feedback or thoughts.

Medical checks have been taken (no injury) - I may train after this acute phase. If I do something wrong, it is my own fault.

# My question #
how can I ensure that this area (trapezius and neck) gets lose and mobile, and later remains?

(I am not looking for S&S as the “42”, the answer to all existing training questions, and yes, my medical conditions are checked & are ok.. a bit cheeky, I know).

Already many thanks in advance for your thoughts and sharing your experience!



A concert of possible contributors:

· The pain started with increased assistance work around the shoulder and traps, and with
· BB cleans.
I used to catch the down-movement with the traps to engage them and to protect the equipment.

· more work at laptop (neck down posture)
· Increased pain and stiffness after sleep (laying on my back)

# My training (4-6 days/week):

· Focus on getting stronger in KB 1H press and deadlift (both 2* a week)
Goals: ½ BW in pressing (4kg to go), 3*BW in DL (currently at 2.6)

Note: presses often as GTG - possibly building up tensions?

# Assisting exercises (either as warm-ups or separate at 1-2 days) :

· carries & odd lifts (atlas stones, bags etc)
· BB MP (up to 1*BW)
· BB & KB squat variations, cleans
· Swings, occasionally TGUs (3 years KB experience, pressing from 14kg to 36kg)
· Pulls (pullups, 1H rows)

No grip problems (CoC 2, DLs overhand 2*BW), but lately pain in the brachioradiales area).

PS: I have checked former threads before posting.
But they didn’t exactly fit my symptoms, resp. address my needs.

For the benefit of other readers:
S&S injury
(the 2nd with some good leading questions. My Dr loves & consequently confirms existing trigger points)
Hello Sven, thanks for the detailed history and referece in the other thread.

I wish I had some answers for you, but can only say that I have a similar problem of stiffness in the upper traps. I suspect that for me it's a combination of neck and shoulder tension in the swing, combined with 8+ hours at the computer every workday.

I've been to the doctor and have had some dry needling of trigger points. It makes some difference, but the problem returns. Massage also helps, but the problem returns.

Bill Been had some good advice in the other thread you referenced. I will pay more attention to facial tension and the neck and shoulders throughout the movements.

I hope that others have some good advice....
Hi Anna,

that adds nicely to my own observations: indeed the needles, massages and heat are helping me, too.
But as you indicated those measures only address the symptoms, not the true cause.

I have also another suspect:
GTG, respectively my frequency & focus on practicing strength.

I believe I neglected mobility, stretching etc.

Then the chronic tension in the trap have build up over time.
Especially when adding static holds in form of the computer work I (and you) are practicing for much longer.

I am curious about other comments or advise.
For me it was either my old flimsy pillow or like you said, looking down at a computer screen.
Yes I suspect the computer screen. I have a stand-up desk I use about 20% of the day, but that actually puts the monitor a bit lower relative to my head when I have the keyboard where I can type. I'll work on fixing that.

I got one of those Water Pillows that Marchese recommended a while back, and I love it. Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow: Home & Kitchen I think this helps, in general.

Sven you mentioned neglecting mobility, stretching, etc... I can tell you that I've increased these quite a bit in recent weeks, and it hasn't been the cure! I'm sure it helps, but I suspect the real fix will be more a matter of finding the root cause and reducing it.
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Facebook, both metaphorically and literally.
I rarely spend time on my phone but a little while ago marvelled at the idea of watching videos of cats and dogs on it, catching up with the rest of the world. Total pain in the neck. Gone back to my cave, free of neck pain with my own cats and dog. How long do you spend stooped over a mobile phone?
Good point, Alistair. Surely a contributor; any reduction will help. Thanks for the reminder.

I video'd my swings this weekend, looking for tension... I think I found a bit of the cause, something in the hip snap on the way up and the shoulders round with neck coming forward for a fraction of a second, tightness in the front of the neck right at that instant... I focused on not doing that this morning and it feels a bit better. Now for the full day at the computer...
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