The Lower Trapezius Trigger Point: A.K.A the “Bitchy” Point

In this post I’m going to write from a more personal perspective and share with you a technique that I like to call “the secret to a happy marriage”.  Anyone that has been in a relationship knows that there are times when communication breaks down and you lose your connection with each other. There could be a thousand different reasons for this to occur, but this post is not about debating relationship “issues”, rather it’s about reestablishing your connection with your spouse or significant other.

Early on in my relationship with my spouse, we spent a significant amount of time developing and refining trigger point therapy techniques. One day, while trying to find a solution to a patient’s nagging neckache, we happened upon the lower trapezius trigger point. As we practiced locating and releasing this trigger point on each other, we were surprised to find so much unrecognized tension in this muscle.

Alpha-Male Cry Baby

Overall, we both found the release of this particular trigger point an extremely unpleasant experience, but my husband would “whine like a little baby” when I released this trigger point on him. But before you conclude that my husband is an oversized wimp, I want to emphasize that there is something unique about this particular trigger point. Not only is there a significant amount of muscle tension associated with this trigger point, but there is an amazing amount of emotional tension associated with it as well. It is the release of this pent-up emotional tension that can turn an alpha-male into a crybaby.

Cure A Bad Mood With Just A Thumb

We began to jokingly refer to the lower Trapezius trigger point as the “bitchy point”, not so much for the endless stream of bitching and complaining that regularly occurred during its release, but for its remarkable ability to “cure” a bad mood. It worked so well in this regard, that we created a interpersonal rule; whenever ever we found ourselves arguing with each other for whatever reason, we would take 5 minutes to release this trigger point on each other. This works wonderfully to remove the emotional baggage associated with a particular issue or problem, and makes it much easier to find a solution that works for both of us.

How To Release The Lower Trapezius Trigger Point

So for my contribution to marital harmony everywhere, I would like to share the release procedure for the lower Trapezius trigger point:

Depending on the position of the scapula, finding this trigger point can be tricky. I find the easiest approach is to have the person keep their arm at their side. If you have located the lower trapezius trigger point correctly, your partner should feel referred pain and pressure on the tip of their shoulder as you apply pressure to the trigger point. They will also frequently experience referred pain on the back of their neck, but the tip of the shoulder (the acromio-clavicular joint region) referral is critical for a good release. This can be an extremely sensitive trigger point, so be sure to start very gently and to never apply more pressure than your partner can take. (Note: If their feet begin to squirm, or they start cussing….your using to much pressure!)

After the release, you should notice that their shoulder has dropped down towards the table (compared to the unreleased side), and they should feel like their breathing is much less restricted. Be sure to work the lower trapezius trigger point on the other side as well, and then swap positions to take your turn (on the torture rack, lol). As a professional note, I tend to release this trigger point on every patient that I see in my practice, regardless of their pain complaint. I can probably count on one hand the number of patients that I have seen that didn’t have this latent trigger point.

Good luck!

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Related Instructional Videos:

Trigger Point Therapy for Trapezius Video   Trigger Point Therapy for Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Video   Trigger Point Therapy for Levator Scapulae Video   Trigger Point Therapy for Neck Pain & Headaches Video   Trigger Point Therapy for Stress Relief & Postural Correction Video