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Trapezius strain symptoms can manifest in sore and aching muscle pain which radiates from the shoulders to the back of the neck. The discomfort can also be felt in the upper part of the back, between the shoulder blades. Shoulder pain is most commonly felt at the start of a trapezius strain injury, and can be made worse through improper posture and repetitive motion.
When a patient is suffering from trapezius strain, the general soreness makes the muscles between the shoulder blades feel tense. The symptoms reflect that of overworked tension in the back of the shoulders. This pain can feel like a constant ache that is relieved by rest. In some cases, this discomfort can disrupt sleep. The individual may find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, due in part to the compression of the shoulder muscles.
Symptoms of a trapezius strain can feel worsened by activity. This is especially true when the individual works at a computer for example. He or she may exhibit poor posture, or constantly slouch while performing daily duties. After several hours, the symptoms may manifest into a constant ache that is difficult to relieve.
When some individuals develop a trapezius strain, he or she may also feel heat in the general area of injury. This heat is caused by inflammation of the muscles and tendons surrounding the trapezius area. Often a tingling or warm sensation can be felt in the shoulder area as well. In some cases, especially when shoulder pain is present, warmth or tingling can radiate down the arm.
Swelling can be a symptom associated with trapezius strain as well. There may be an area of localized swelling or puffiness above the shoulder, or in back of the shoulder. The swelling also may be accompanied by redness or tenderness at the injury site. The soft tissue extending from beneath the trapezius muscle may make the surface of the skin feel warm to the touch.
Inability to perform daily activities can be symptoms of a trapezius strain. Such activities the individual may have difficulty with might include stretching or extending the arm without pain or discomfort. Pain when lifting objects are another common symptom of trapezius injury strain. When grasping and lifting, the individual may feel limited mobility or moderate pain.
Occasionally, headache pain and sore neck muscles may be associated with trapezius injuries. The headache may be felt at the base of the skull, extending to the entire neck area. Often this pain is relieved by the use of anti-inflammatory medications or applications of ice.