Neck and Trapezius Pain

Neck and Trapezius Muscle (Trap) sprains, strains, and/or pain may result from heavy or repetitive lifting, pushing, and/or pulling, accidents such as falls or motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, overuse, poor or awkward postures, non-ergonomic work stations, and underlying medical conditions such as arthritis and cervical disc disease.


May include pain, muscle tightness or spasm, "knots," stiffness, diminished range of motion of the neck, pain, numbness, and/or tingling of one or both arms, and diminished strength of one or both arms.


If the employee has pain but is not sure what is causing his/her symptoms, he/she should first be evaluated by his/her personal physician. If the physician and employee think the condition is occupational, the employee should file a workers' compensation claim and call Employee Health Services for an appointment. Injuries and symptoms that occur while the patient is doing activities at work such as lifting, pushing, pulling, or activities that result in falls or accidents need to be evaluated by employee health. The employee needs to contact his/her supervisor and to call employee health for an appointment. The employee may apply ice to the affected area for up to 15 minutes every hour to reduce pain and any swelling. Neck and trap pain and tightness may also occur in employees who do computer work such as keyboarding and data entry. For instance, the monitor may be too high or too low. The employee needs to make sure that his/her workstation and computer are set up to fit him/her. This can be checked by reviewing the Computer Workstation Self Evaluation. These are given to every new employee who does computer work during his/her physical at employee health. If after reviewing the checklist the employee still has questions and concerns, he/she should contact the Workers' Compensation unit and arrange for an onsite workstation evaluation. If the employee's symptoms persist after the workstation has been adjusted the employee may have an underlying condition such as arthritis that is causing his/her pain.

-Also- Ergonomics Link

Work status

The employee may work. If the condition is not occupational, the employee's personal physician is responsible for determining if the employee needs any work restrictions. If employee health is treating the employee, the employee health treater will make this determination.
Developed by Employee Health Services