Trapezius muscle


One of the important systems of the human body is the muscular system since through it it can be achieved that the human skeleton can be mobilized adequately, also making it able to remain firm. This system is made up of muscles , which are soft tissues that allow movement . One of them is the trapezius muscle, it is one of the muscles that the human body has that is located superficially on the back of the neck. Its name comes from Latin, specifically from the word “Latin musculus trapezius” .


What is the trapezius muscle?

The trapezius muscle is a flat- shaped muscle , located superficially and that extends from the neck to the thorax region on the posterior aspect of the trunk and neck, which helps to keep the head balanced and the junction between the clavicle and the neck. the scapula.

  • Trapezius muscle characteristics
  • Function
  • Location
  • Source
  • Trapezius muscle insertions
  • Innervation
  • Pain
  • Inflammation of the trapezius muscle
  • Contracture
  • Treatment
  • Prevention

Trapezius muscle characteristics

The main characteristics of this important muscle are the following:

  • It is an even muscle because there is a right and a left muscle located symmetrically.
  • It is flat and is also located superficially.
  • It is shaped like a triangle.
  • It has two different faces, one that is more superficial and the other that is deeper.
  • It has three borders, the anterior, the inferior and the medial.
  • It receives blood supply from the transverse cervical artery, the suprascapular artery to a lesser degree, and the posterior intercostal arteries.
  • It is a muscle that helps to move the head from one side to the other.
  • It is also responsible for giving the human body greater stability.
  • It is a muscle that is very easily injured mainly due to excessive efforts.


In order to fully understand the function of the trapezius muscle, it is necessary to know that it is composed of several fibers which have different functions. The main function is to achieve distention of the spine from the point of view cervical and torah Cico. The upper fibers of this muscle are responsible for raising the clavicle and scapula , making possible the movement of the head towards where the muscle is located and at the same time can make it rotate in the opposite direction. The middle fibers serve to stabilizethe position of the scapula and the inferior fibers are in charge of making possible the scapular depression and the rotation of the glenoid cavity.


The trapezius muscle is located in the upper part of the back and also includes part of the neck.


The origin of this muscle occurs in the superior medial line of the neck and in the external protuberance that is in the occipital bone , in the nuchal ligament and in the spinous process of the C7-T12. Its upper fibers originate in the middle and upper part of the neck, the middle fibers in the processes of the C7 vertebrae and the lower fibers in the processes and interspinous ligaments that go from T4 to T12.

Trapezius muscle insertions

Regarding the insertions of this muscle, the fascicles are directed to three main structures that include the spine , the acromion and the clavicle . Its muscle fibers located in the upper part go downward and obliquely to later insert into the posterior and upper edge of the clavicle . The fibers that are located in the middle part are located in a transverse direction and are inserted in the acromion and the shoulder blade. Finally, the lower fibers form a type of triangle between their fascicles, which are arranged in an ascending way, covering the middle part of the spine of the scapula .


The trapezius muscle is innervated by the external branch of the accessory cranial nerve , which is also known as the spinal accessory nerve . It is a fairly large nerve and belongs to the XI cranial nerve. When this nerve suffers some type of damage, the person will have symptoms related to problems to be able to mobilize the head and shoulders. It also receives another innervation which is given by the nerve that bears the same name, which is also a small branch of the accessory nerve.


Pain in this muscle usually occurs as a result of tensions that cause trigger points . In general , the person experiences more sensitivity when pressure is exerted on the muscle and this sensation can radiate even to other nearby structures. The poor posture , the tension , strokes , accidents or muscle overload are causes that can reach trigger pain and muscle tension causing neck stiffness, decreased ability of movement, muscle spasms and numbness.

Inflammation of the trapezius muscle

Inflammation of this muscle is generally due to an injury that is caused by a pull or tension that occurs abruptly. The inflammation also causes pain and great difficulty in executing movements. When it becomes inflamed, there is a reduction in movements, mainly those of the shoulders and neck, the person feels a lot of discomfortand discomfort that worsens considerably with movement, there is also a reduction in the strength of the shoulders and arms. It is vitally important to be able to recognize in time how serious the injury is to prevent it from increasing, making the deflammation process more difficult.


The contractures on the trapeze are actually quite common nowadays. Long hours sitting in front of a computer, long working hours, high levels of stress, hernias or blows can cause the muscle to contract. This type of contracture occurs when the muscle contracts so involuntary and continuous that can last several days. It can also cause a series of effects on the body such as headaches , a feeling of heaviness in the arms, contraction of other muscles that are nearby and inflammation .


When it occurs, there is also a generalized intense pain throughout the area and must be treated medically for a better recovery. A good idea for your recovery is to apply cold to the area for alternate periods of time to avoid cold burns. The stretching exercises are also a good option, especially if the problem occurs constantly.

Visiting the doctor for a good muscle relaxant and pain reliever medication is also necessary. Another good idea is to visit a physical therapist so that he or she can apply and recommend a series of routines or treatments to help the patient improve.


The trapezius muscle like all the others that make up the human body must be properly cared for to avoid possible injuries. Some preventive measures to keep your muscle healthy are the following:

  • Maintain proper body posture without hunching your spine.
  • Use suitable chairs if you must spend a lot of time in front of a computer.
  • Stretching your body and back from time to time is effective in helping to keep your muscles more relaxed.
  • Avoid lifting objects that are too heavy .
  • Use the correct way to lift things that are below our level.
  • Keep stress levels low .

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