Self Care – Neck tension when wearing a heavy coat

Avoid activities that aggravate the upper trapezius:

Once the trigger point is activated, there are a number of known activities that keep it aggravated. A backpack, ill-fitted bra straps, a tight coat or shoulder bag will press into this area and are known irritants and create additional microtrauma. Using a cane that is badly fit is cited as a problem. I find it to be more likely, especially with middle-aged clientele, that leaning on the bars of a treadmill when fatigued aggravates it.

Activities that tilt and twist the neck strongly also agitate this trigger point. Twisting to the side to tend to a child in a car, playing a violin or, for one client, twisting quickly to answer his wife while sitting at the dinner table.

It could get aggravated if your kid hugs your neck like this but it’s probably worth it.

Try this Countermeasure:

Sitting for long periods with your elbows elevated can shorten the muscle so it is aggravated when the elbows are not supported. This is more complicated as serratus posterior, levator scapula and other muscles get involved. This breathing exercise is a great countermeasure and leaves the entire head and neck more relaxed. Follow up with these doorway stretches if you have shoulders that are pulled forward.

A patch of Salonpas will offer relief if it still aggravates you. These medium-sized patches are the right size to cover the trapezius along the top of the shoulder close to the neck. These have lidocaine which is an analgesic that helps to calm the local irritation. They are available locally or on Amazon.

This problem can perpetuate more than neck tension. It is known for making people irritable by referring into the sympathetic ganglion. It is often associated with sensory integration dysfunction. Topical patches can offer short term relief but it is important for those clients to get lasting relief. A coat can be a needed form of deep pressure that helps with regulation to modulate sensory processing. This is often perpetuated by binding joints in the upper neck and shoulder. Your bodyworker can work with the underlying problems for lasting relief.

You are looking at self-care for the trigger point described in this post. There are several other posts that refer into the same areas or create similar impaired functions. Look at the posts tagged for upper neck, top of the shoulder and sensory integration.

and some related posts…

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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