Sore trapezius muscle (I think)

I think it is the trapezius muscle. The muscles on the right side of my upper back, just to the right of the spine and below the shoulder bone gets really sore when doing rides of 3-4+ hours. Turning back to look at traffic is super painful once the pain sets in. I’ve had a fit, but maybe I need a new one? My left side is fine though. The pain dissipates after a few days, but returns the next long ride. Weak neck muscles, poor fit, both or who knows, any suggestions?

If I was getting pain in that area, the first thing I would do is take a tennis ball or lacrosse ball and massage that area using the ball against a wall. It’s hard to say if it’s your bike fit or something else that is causing your pain, or probably even a combination of factors, but massaging it yourself is a whole lot cheaper than a bike fit, and is the first thing I would try. I sometimes get some knee pain while cycling, and I’ve had success making it better by finding the muscles around my knee that are tight and massaging them.


I severely strained my trapezius 10 years ago and now it’s the first thing to flare up when I put my back through a lot of stress. The lacrosse ball massage as mentioned above is a great method to relieve pain if I feel a twinge coming on. I also started doing more shoulder strengthening exercises.

Bike fit can always help, but my approach has been to improve my mobility and strength first.

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I’ll start using the tennis ball and see what happens, thanks.

You can rub this all you want… it won’t help. Your pain is coming from your neck and not muscular in origin. See a PT.