There are 63 muscles attached directly to the spine! If you put one hand at the base of your skull and the other hand on your low back– that’s how big the trapezius, or “trap” muscle. That area accounts for just two of those 63. This very large muscle is intricately involved in supporting the skull, moving the neck, stabilizing/supporting the shoulder girdle, holding the weight of the arms, and the strength behind upper body pulling motions.
In fact, the traps are referred to in the literature as three sections: upper, middle and lower. The traps have both fast and slow-twitch muscle fiber and have blood supply from multiple blood vessels. But, the most interesting aspect of the trap muscles is the nerve supply: it is supplied by the spinal accessory nerve, also known as Cranial Nerve XI. That Cranial Nerve designation means that the nerve originates in the posterior brain or brain stem and traverses into both sides of the body, bypassing the spinal cord itself. It really is fascinating.
Clearly, the trapezius muscles are important to us as chiropractors, and to you as a patient. If you have questions about the traps, feel free to ask me during your next appointment.
Make a commitment to your health today.
Stay well adjusted,
Dr. Dan Kammer