Forums Back Frequent trap/neck pull

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    • #70709
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      Hi.  I pull a muscle in and around my left trap about ever 1-2 months (Just a little further down than where the line ends indicating the “trapezius” in the linked image).  The typical exercises that cause me to pull it are HSPUs and even bench press on occassion.  Sometimes I swear I can actually “hear” a ping when it happens.  Then I know I’m in for a week’s worth of pain and limited mobility of my head/neck.  Turning my head to the left is much more painful that turning it to the right.  The pain can also throb and make it’s way up higher in the neck to the base of the skull.

      I’m at a loss as to what is causing it.  I’ve spoke with my trainer, my chiropractor and a massage therapist.  I’ve watch a lot of MWOD youtube videos and have been working these areas with a lacrosse ball.  But nothing seems to be having an impact.

      Any advice, or methods of narrowing down the culprit would be appreciated.  Thanks in advanced.

    • #73745
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      Looking down is also very painful.

    • #73752
      AvatarAnonymous

      Have you had anyone look at your positions and mechanics when performing these skills?
      You may need to use a softer ball when addressing the upper neck so the muscles will relax.
      A softball, tennis ball or a Yoga Tune ball the YTU or Therapy Plus ball work great in this area.
      How often are you working with it?
      Soft Tissue of Neck
      Jill Miller and Your Dys-Supple Neck
      Episode 153: Olympic Lifiting Mobility Part 1
      Pro Episode #18 – Pro-User Request Friday: The Upper Trap Tweak

      Jill Miller has some additional ways to hit the upper back and neck here.
      Here is a link for a free quick fix video others are available for a minimal fee.

    • #73830
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      My trainer has observed me doing these movements.  I will try using a softer ball to rehab.  I’ll also check the rehab links you’ve mentioned.  Thank you so much for your time, Kaitlin.

      While the rehab is important to me, I’m also very interested in determining what is causing this to keep happening (i.e. muscle imbalance, muscle weakness, improper form, etc).   
    • #73832
      AvatarAnonymous

      What did your trainer say about your technique when compared to ideal technique for the skill(s)?
      It can be very beneficial to have someone video tape you doing the movements so you can see exactly what is happening. When you are able to see it you may help you understand more. Seeing it vs going off what it feels like sometimes can be the missing piece.
      Have you talked about this situation with your trainer? or another coach?

    • #73844
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      Yes, I’ve talked to my trainer about it. But he doesn’t see anything that stands out that would cause it, technique wise. I’ll have someone take a video. Seems to be anything overhead aggravates it. No problems pulling (cleans and DL). I’ve laid off it since I posted this. Did Karen yesterday, and it’s sore this morning (not terrible, I can just feel it).

    • #73850
      AvatarAnonymous

      Did your trainer have any recommendations?
      Have you looked at anything downstream?
      Do you warm up enough before Karen?

    • #73932
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      Trainer hasn’t made any recommendations.  By downstream, do you mean through the shoulder/bicep?

      I tried to warm up well before Karen.  I’m a tight athlete so a good warm-up is essential for me.
      I’ve really stayed off of it for the past week or so.  However, I’m still noticing it in the mornings.
    • #73936
      AvatarAnonymous

      I’d ask the trainer for some recommendations for things you can work on to improve the situation.
      Everything up/down stream.
      Not really sure what “tired to warm up” means.
      Is your sleeping position impacting the situation?

    • #73944
      AvatarJustin LaRoche
      Participant

      I have been dealing with the same issue here. The issue started around Christmas and continues to be an issue still today. Some days are better than others but from what I have found out up to this point is that I have a nasty knot in one of my back muscles that is on the medial side of my scap. I have had several ajustments from my chiro, a deep tissue message ( the kind you don’t fall asleep or relax during ha! ) and have had my athletic trainer from my college take a look at it. Today I will be going to an ART specialist, hopefully he can get something to loosen up. 

      All 3 opinions up to this point agree that my traps continue to be super tight even after a lot of attention, this combined with the knot that will not go away are causing a lot of discomfort. My SCM is also being effected by this, which is super tight. 
      I have been using a heat everyday up to this point before doing mobility work. I have watched everything I can find that Kelly / Jill Miller have put out there on this issue. I have done everything in my power with the help of Super Friend to get rid of this issue. Ultimately this one seems to be out of my control. I will update this after I visit Dr.Matt at the ART Center today 
    • #73946
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      Thanks, Derek.  I’d be very interested to hear what you find out.  Our situations seem very similar.  It’s been really slow to heal and very easy to re-injure.  I’ve largely rested it for a week, just working on mobility and self massage.  But it’s still there.  Felt it when I woke up just this morning.

    • #73947
      AvatarJustin LaRoche
      Participant

      I have been the same way. Even lifting my head off the pillow would cause a shooting pain to the back of my head. I haven’t lifted in 2 weeks because of this. I went to the ART specialist this morning and he did some work on my Lat , Delt, Neck and of course popped my neck in too. I definitely had some sticking points in my shoulder and Lat. I am going to set up another appointment for Wednesday. 

      Funny thing is played a high level indoor soccer tournament this weekend, ( I played all through College, I’m a Goalkeeper ) as you can image diving around Friday night was not enjoyable. After having some work done by my friend that’s the Athletic Trainer to the knots in my back that did help loosen things up for Saturday’s 2 games. I actually feel better after a weekend of diving around. 
      I will keep you up-to-date on my progress, I know for myself that ART is going to be needed. The guy that I see for ART issues is very good and believes that this issue is very common. He said that its very common because of a desk job. I personally have a stand up desk but that doesn’t that I don’t the same faults as someone that sits all day. I will have to really focus on staying in the proper position from now on. 
    • #73948
      AvatarAnonymous

      Have you addressed the soft tissue of the neck& upper back?
      Soft Tissue of Neck
      Soft Tissue of the Upper Back

    • #73954
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      Kaitlin, I’ve been working the neck/trap area with a tennis ball each night.

      Derek, funny you mention the stand-up desk.  I switched to one about 4 months ago.  I had these issues prior to that though.  I’m sure even with the new desk I don’t hold perfect posture all day.
    • #73958
      AvatarJustin LaRoche
      Participant

      Just curious Milz what is your first name? 

      Well today I am feeling better. I am able to do complete neck circle in both directions without any pain or sticking points. For me the sticking points were looking all the way down, up and down and to the left. I am able to do all 3 today comfortably.  
      I have an appointment set up with the ART specialist tomorrow that I will be keeping just to be on the safe side. Have you looked to see if your have an ART in your area? The way I found mine was asking around the local boxes and see who they recommended. 
      As far as the tennis ball goes I think you need something better. Get yourself a set of lacrose balls and a set of the Yoga tune up balls. I have both and use them everyday on something different. The lacrose balls work wonders on your achiellis tendon and loosening up tacked down skin. The Yoga Tune up balls work really well on the more tendor areas ( ankles, Anterior tib… bonier areas that a lacrose ball would hurt. ) It will be a great $20 spent, I promise you that. 

      How are you feeling today? Better ? Same? Worse?
    • #73988
      AvatarJustin LaRoche
      Participant

      Had my follow up with the ART specialist today. We definitely found the knot that was on my rhomboid. The ART started to laugh when he dug into it. It is a nasty one that hopefully will loosen up with some work to it. But the good news is we have definitely narrowed down the problem. 

      By standing up against a wall with a lacrosse ball in the in the problem area.  Extend your arm completey out against the wall, bring your arm all the way across your body as you press into the ball. This will move the scapula out of the way and allow you to get to that meaty area. Try it and let me know what you think. 
    • #73992
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      First name is Steve.

      Glad to hear you found the problem spot, although I’m sure it’s no fun getting it worked on.
      Yesterday I could still feel it when I moved my head.  It wasn’t painful, there was just enough sensation there to make it evident I’m not completely healed.  Looking down and to the left are the most painful things when it first happens, but pretty much any head/neck movement doesn’t feel very good.  Today is better.  I’ve been working my trap/neck against the corner of a wall with a lacrosse ball.  Maybe it’s helping.  I will try the method you suggested and let you know how it goes.
      I do have an ART in my area (found them on the official ART site).  I may see what i can do on my own before I go that route.  I go for my level 1 training in February, so I’m hoping I can corner someone there to look at my form to see if anything is wrong there as well.  We’ll see.
    • #73995
      AvatarJustin LaRoche
      Participant

      Just trying to be helpful Steve but, I really think this one may be out of your hands. It was for me. Don’t be like me and have to sit on the sidelines for 2 weeks! 

    • #74002
      AvatarPaul Lieber
      Participant

      Appreciate the help, Derek.  This has been a re-occuring injury for a long time, so maybe it’s time I tried something different.

      I’d be interested in hearing why your ART thought you had the problem spot in the first place.  Does it come from overworking, or ROM restrictions elsewhere??
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