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Move of the Month – Cervical/Upper Trapezius

September 17, 2014

Provided by Copley Certified Athletic Trainer Vin Faraci, MS, ATC


Morrisville: A common source of upper shoulder and neck pain is tension in the upper trapezius muscle. Copley Hospital Certified Athletic Trainer Vin Faraci explains that consistent repetitive motions do not allow the upper trapezius muscle to rest, resulting in stress and irritation. People who experience this type of pain and soreness typically have desk jobs where they perform the same motion repeatedly for long periods of time, as well as those who drive extended hours. Stretches to lengthen the upper trapezius muscle can help prevent shoulder and neck pain. Faraci recommends that you should warm up with a brisk walk, light jog or a few minutes on a stationary bike before doing any stretching.

Faraci recommends the following upper trapezius stretch. This stretch can be done in a seated or standing position and should be performed in 2-3 repetitions for both sides of the body holding for 20-30 seconds. Faraci notes that you are performing the stretch correctly if you feel pressure or a sense of light pulling.

  • With your right hand at your side turn your head to the left and look down
  • Place your left hand on top of the head
  • Apply gentle pressure in a downward motion with your left hand until you feel stretching the upper right shoulder and right side of our neck

“If at any time during the stretch you experience pain you are doing too much and need to back off on the intensity of the stretch,” says Faraci.

Faraci is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Copley Hospital. He provides both land based and aquatic orthopedic rehabilitation. Faraci also works closely with area schools to ensure our student athletes are receiving the proper prevention and injury care to keep them on the slopes, fields and courts.