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Trapezius pain for 4 years now .... :(

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:36 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I've been in pain for four years straight now. I'd love for anyone to read this if they have a moment and help me in anyway possible. The pain and tension is taking up space and time in my brain.

It all started a few years ago when I began to lift weights at the gym. I started to feel extreme tension in my lower trapezius ( about 3/5 up my back in the center ) at first it was just like having tension in your knuckles that you might be able to relieve with a simple stretch. I began to see a chiropractor. I got on one of his 'plans' and saw him 2x a week for a few months of re-alignment. I don't know if this is where the pain began, but here is what I deal with now...

I have constant tension in my lower-mid trapezius, and it's CONSTANTLY spasming. It feels bruised all the time, and just FULL OF TENSION. I can't sit without pain in normal positions without some sort of support. My neck and upper back sounds like a rice krispy treat, it constantly is cracking and snapping and popping :(. I spend most of my day doing odd stretches/twists to relieve the tension/pain, but that always turns out bad; I end up hurting myself from over stretching. Within minutes of a released tension I'll have the urge to do it again, and again it pops. But after a whole day it just gets worse. I can't lift weights anymore, I can't jog, and I can't even ride a health rider; all of those turn into a bruised / sharp pain. All I can do is swim :(. Sometimes it even effects my breathing because of all the over stretching, I feel like it pinches a nerve that restricts my breathing. The tension feels as if I need to be pulled out really far like a doll and have my spine put back into place.

It weighs me down, I get tired way more easily, and my mood and outlook on life has suffered. Even as I type this it feels beat up, and is throbbing with pain. Like a piece of meat just throbbing with pain and tension. BUT FROM WHAT ? I'm doing everything I can to try and figure out why I have this tension/pain. I've done 'strength training' exercises with a pt and it didn't help. I believe my doctors didn't treat me right the first time through. It's taking over my life. HELP.


  • Get yourself a series of remedial or sports massages to work out the knots, ease the spasms, and gradually stretch the muscle fibres back to where they should be.
    Your back is a real mess, and you need expert professional treatment to get it fixed.
    Breathing can be affected, and you may also be experiencing neck pain and or headaches, as the trapezius fibres shorten and pull down the neck muscles.
    The remedial masseuse will know where to start, and will then progress through all affected muscles.
    Allow 45-50 minutes a session, expect one a week for a month or so.
    Muscles have a memory and will try to return to the previous condition, so it takes a while to retrain them.
    I have followed this treatment for over 4 months now with amazing relief from head and neck aches.
    Still sorting through the back muscles though, and i relapse quite quickly if I do the wrong activity (like everything!)
    The weightlifting may have contributed to the problem, and your muscles may now be out of balance with each other-some too strong, some too weak.
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  • I would get your Dr. to order an MRI. I'm surprised Chiro didn't order that for you. Knowing what's going on inside may help you. I had to ask my Dr. for an MRI because I knew it wasn't simple muscle strain cause by my mild scoliosis I have. My facet joints are crispy also and had to see a PM Dr. for that but it could be caused by many things. Best wishes. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I agree with the MRI. You need to find out if it's something non-muscular that could be at the root of your problems. Good luck! I hope you find relief soon.
  • I agree 100% with Peters B comments, your need have deep dissue/sports type massge to let your muscles return to their prior health state. You have to re-train the muscle and the facia the covers all your muscle tissue to return to it's origional state. The key is to find a therapyst in your area that understands this, as Peter Mentioned it may take 3 massages a week for 2 weeks, then 2 massages a week for abou 3 weeks then at lest one a week for another 4-6 weeks, if you regress pick up the pass. my wife has a very similar situation to yours from a rear end auto accid. and lived for this for a hear, until she got gong with the correct massage therapy, stretching. Do not get a swedish massage or the kind that just feel good and put you to sleep, to get results you may have to fell some discomfort as the therapyst gets to working more deeping in subsequent treatments, but always tell them if you are feeling too much pain so they can back off you need to tackle it in stages, use cool packs, the gel kind that stay soft that you can put in your freezer, very important to make sure you have propoer lumbur support when you sit, including driving this can really get your back going, good luck an be sure to ck with you MD to make sure you do not have some other kind of medical situation going on.
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  • Have you found a resolution to this issue? I am expierencing the same issues... to a T!
  • CindyRCCindyR Savannah, GeorgiaPosts: 1
    AnonymousUser, I know exactly what you are feeling! I have the same issues and it has taken over my life. On top of it all, I now have a frozen shoulder to go along with it. I've tried everything, I've been to 2 orthopedics, to which both were a waste of $$$. One doc was so arrogant I wanted to just punch him in his face. He also said he wouldn't order an MRI because I didn't "meet the criteria" for it. I've been to chiropractors and massage therapists too, that does help, but it gets way too expensive for me. I also do a lot of stretches that helps, but very little. It's a struggle and I wouldn't wish this on anyone. The only relief I did have was when my gynecologist (of all people) gave me some pain meds.He is the only one that really gave a crap about the pain I'm in. My last resort will be the ER I guess....best wishes to you.

  • kerrig414kkerrig414 Massachusetts Posts: 9
    Hello all, I am new to this thread and do hope for some insight. I have been suffering now for 4 years with what I call flares of this trapezius muscle swelling and pain. To make a very long story short it comes and goes but every month with a minimum of a week I can literally grab my muscle with my hand I have Burning pain from my neck to trapezius and cervical spine: I love with chronic neck and back pain and have accepted it but this pain is so severe. I have had many tests in the past, have had 5 injections from a physiatrist which unfortunately made the symptoms worse. I have visible swelling in the trap. Area that you can see just from looking at me. And when I ask my husband to massage it I have no sensation like I can feel he's touching me but he'll press as hard as he can( and he's a big guy) and I feel nothing. I have seen a neurologist to test my nerves and while I do have some arthritis in my spine and a minor cervical disk bulge they can't give me any answers. I have tried muscle relaxers, narcotics you name it. I now fear telling my pcp how bad it is as I'm afraid she now thinks I'm p lay looking for narcotics which at this point I could take them or leave them as I need a more solution and not a bandaid. When it gets this bad I am unable to be up and about I'm bedridden in a sense and heat is the only thing that gives me the slightest relief: my depression that I am already experiencing gets kicked down a level or two every month and I can't seem to pull myself out before agai. It's back. I am on cymbals now for 2 years I just am at the end of my rope. I am 35 not over weight and don't do manual labor, don't talk on phone hardly ever and I'm just pleading for some insight as the thought of having to live with this for the rest of my life is more then I can handle. Please 
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