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  • Rhiannon Flores-Drennen

Are Your Taps Really Tight? Alternative 2



Upper traps can be affected by more than just there lower counterpart. Let's talk about bones.

Lower traps are a major source of tension in the upper traps. But if you have foam roller, stretched, and massages your lower traps and your shoulder pain still persists, it's not quite time to jump directly to working on the area of pain. First, we must check out your bone placement.


As we noted in the last article, trapezius is huge! Therefore it has many bony attachment points. If any of these is out of balance, the traps must respond by crunching or stretching to accommodate - a state which feels like tension in the muscle.

In the images the blue colored bones mark where trapezius originates, the green where they insert. Upper traps specifically connects the occipital bone the base of the skull and cervical vertebrae 1-5 to the lateral (outside) of the clavicle. I tend to check these attachment sites after those of the lower traps at thoracic vertebrae 4-12 and the medical scapular spine. If lower trap over or under activation is caused by bone misalignment, the effect will be the same on the upper traps as it would be if caused over or under use.

Bones that seem to most dramatically impact the trapezius, though, are not directly related. The ribs. Since the traps overlay much of the ribc age, it is important to consider this underlying structure. First rib is of particular significance when we are trying to resolve discomfort in the top of the shoulder. In fact, nearly all of the clients I see with shoulder and neck pain have one or both ribs out of their own optimal alignment.

Chiropractic and specific massage techniques like SMRT are the best ways to help correct those imbalances and get you pain free! Which has helped you most? Let me know in the comments.

And remember to share!

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Rhiannon Flores-Drennen

LMBT & Founder of Philosopher's Stone Therapeutic Massage

Serving Haddonfield, NJ and Surrounding Areas


Rhiannon loves helping you solve your pain puzzles! A chronic pain specialist with a sub-specialty in pelvic dysfunction, she understands the huge impact pain can have on your life and is dedicated to helping you reach your health goals so you can enjoy your life fully and whole. Though her style can sometimes be described as "therapeutic fluff," she is not the therapist to see for a "just to treat myself" massage.

Augmenting her initial massage training with multiple courses and certifications including SMRT, ATMAT, and IHPS she has the skills to create effective and lasting change for you. But don't go on blind faith - check out her amazing reviews!

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