A pulled trapezius muscle can cause much pain and discomfort. This muscle extends from the top of the neck, down to the middle of the back and stretches across the back of the shoulders. Because of its location, any type of upper body movement puts strain on this muscle.
The first thing you should do is take one or two ibuprofen. This will ease the pain as well as reduce inflammation. Continue taking one pill every 6 hours until the muscle has made a full recovery.
Let the Muscle Rest
A pulled trapezius needs to get as much rest as possible. This means doing no physical work unless it is absolutely necessary. It is best to lie on your back as much as you can for at least the first two days. If it becomes painful to be on your back, then switch to the most comfortable position you can find.
Use an Ice Pack
While lying down, place an ice pack on the muscle. It would be beneficial to have somebody place it on there for you to prevent causing extra strain on the trapezius. Ice will help prevent swelling and inflammation. The back is sensitive to cold temperatures, so you may want to place a towel between the ice pack and your skin. Leave the ice on for 10 minutes and repeat the process each hour you are awake.
Apply a Heat Pad
Starting on the second day, you should apply a heat pad to your pulled trapezius. Heat will increase the flow of circulation to that particular area, which will help encourage faster healing. Leave the pad on for 15 to 20 minutes, repeating the process every 2 hours.
Stretching the Muscle
Gentle stretching will help loosen the strained muscle. Stretching should never be painful, so make sure you do not overdo it. Stretching too hard or too much may cause more damage to the muscle. Find a comfortable stretching point and do it for five minutes at least once per hour.