Tight Traps or Rounded Shoulders How to Make Them Better Post 1

Many people in this fast-paced, stressful modern society have experienced muscles that become tight from stress, tension and inactivity. One area particularly vulnerable for to this type of stress is the upper back and neck. We are primarily talking about the trapezius muscle between your neck and shoulders on each side and the muscles of the back of the neck.

The trapezius is the muscle that contracts to shrug your shoulders. People who sit at a desk all day long and spend a lot of time looking down at documents or talking on the phone while using the shoulder to hold the receiver against their chin are especially susceptible to this condition. Sometimes, these spasms can induce headaches at the back of the skull.

Sitting at a desk all day, especially if you are constantly looking down at documents or a computer screen can put strain on the back of your neck. Actually, the same can be true for people who stand with the neck in the same position, such as a surgeon standing over a patient or a factory worker standing and looking down to operate a running machine. The muscles in the back of the neck become strained and tight, while the muscles in the front of the neck become weak and inflexible.

This condition is quite common, as is shown by the popularity of the Ab Roller exercise apparatus. People who develop this imbalance in the neck are unable to keep their head in position while doing abdominal crunches and other abdominal exercises. It also indicates improper form is being used. Because people receive most of their information about the world through the eyes, people with weak abdominal muscles will often move the head more than the ribcage when doing crunches and other abdominal exercises. In addition, keeping the tongue in the correct position, touching the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth, allows the muscles of the face and neck to support the head more easily. That should allow the focus of the exercise to be where it belongs — on the abdominal muscles.

The trapezius muscle is a large, kite-shaped muscle with multiple functions in the shoulder girdle, depending on which area of the muscle is contracted. The rhomboid muscles are located between the scapulas (shoulder blades) and the thoracic spine and function to pull the scapula together and back. The shoulder girdle consists of the scapulas, the clavicles and the muscles, tendons and ligaments that attach these bones to the ribcage.

The tight traps phenomenon is even worse if accompanied by a rounding-over of the upper back. Sitting or standing in a slouched position puts stress on the middle trapezius and rhomboid muscles between the shoulder blades. This same phenomenon can also be produced from injuries, congenital kyphosis of the spine or improperly designed exercise routines.

This can to lead to a permanently slouched posture, with the head sticking forward and shortening of the muscles on the front of the neck and torso and weakening of the rhomboid and middle trapezius muscles. A rounded upper back may reduce the degree to which the lungs can expand, requiring shallower and more rapid breathing.

Some people develop either of these conditions as a response to stress. Whenever they feel under pressure or threatened, they shrug their shoulders up. People who are chronically depressed or have poor self-esteem also tend to adopt this kind of posture. Many of these people don’t even realize they are maintaining a constant state of contraction because they have become used to it. If this is done for long periods of time, the muscle will tire and spasm, and people will complain of headaches and neck aches without knowing the cause.

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