M. Trapezius


  • C2-Th12 spinosus process
  • Lig. nuchae
  • Occipital bone / Skullbasen (protuberantia occipitalis externa)


Some down;

  • 1/3 of the lateral part of the clavicle

Some sideways;

  • Acromion process
  • Spina scapulae


  • Spina scapulae


  • C3-C4 (motor and sensory)
  • Kranialnerv XI


  • Pl. Cervicalis


General function:

  • Rotation, retraction, elevation and depression of the shoulder (scapulae)
  • Increases lordosis in the cervical spine
  • Extension of the cervical spine

Some down – Funktion:

  • Elevation of the shoulder (scapulae)
  • Outward rotation of the shoulder (scapulae)

Pars transverse – function:

  • Outward rotation of the shoulder (scapulae)
  • Shoulder adduction (scapulae)
  • Extension Th1-Th12

Pars ascendens – function:

  • Depression of the shoulder (scapulae)
  • Shoulder adduction (scapulae)
  • Outward rotation of the shoulder (scapulae)



  • M. Serratus anterior
  • Marcus back Lattiss
  • M. Pectoralis major

Leads involved

  • Art. Thoracoscapularis
  • Art. Acromioclavicularis
  • Art. Sternoclavicularis
  • Intevertebralleder C1-Th12

Descriptive text

M. Trapezius is a long, superficial and flat muscle originating from the neck down to the Th12. It is divided into three parts; descendens, transversa och ascendens. What controls the division is the direction of the fibers and thus also the function of the muscle.

Down – party

Is the upper part of the trapezius. The fiber direction is downward-lateral. It goes out towards the collarbone and the shoulders.

Right across – party

Middle part of the trapezius. The fiber direction is lateral and extends towards the acromion axes.

Riding – party

Lower part of the trapezius. The fiber direction is upward-lateral and goes towards the spina scapulae.

Training & trapezius

When training the trapezius, it is important to include all three parts of the muscle. Many people primarily train the upper part of the trapezius (descendens) and this can lead to imbalance.

If you have a “too strong” upper trapezius, it can lead to:

  • forward rotated shoulder blades
  • which can adversely affect posture and mobility.
  • The mobility of the neck is primarily affected. Specifically Lateral flexion and rotation of the neck.

People usually miss to train:

  • the transverse part (pars transversa)
  • the lower part (pars ascendens)

Try to include:

  • extension of neck
  • adduction of the shoulder blades
  • elevation of the shoulder blades
  • depression of the shoulder blades.

Think about how you work with the shoulder blades during other training. Avoid lifting the shoulders.

Exercise suggestions for Trapezius

Therapist tips

  • This muscle is usually very tense and stressed in people with high stress.
  • Static work can usually cause pain and tension in this muscle. For office work or other type of work with shoulders raised (electrician, etc.). Try to teach the patient to perform the work without relaxing this muscle too much.
  • A tense trapezius can lead to headaches (neck-ear-temple-eye)
  • Check the pectoral muscles and other antagonists. If there are clear differences (agonist-antagonist-synergists), you may need to work on both sides.

Treatment recommendations

  • Massage in various forms
  • Acupressure
  • Dry needling
  • Ledmanipulation CTÖ
  • Stretch (both at home and from a therapist)
  • TENS
  • NMES
  • Cervical traction
  • Heat