Sometimes certain injuries or chronic imbalances take awhile to correct and the time it takes will vary depending on extent of the injury, follow through on the the rehabilitation, and the individual – you should revisit the issue with your PT.
You are on the right track if you see gradual (though perhaps small) improvements in your pain. If you are not seeing any improvements whatsoever you may need to make modifications to what you are doing, again in concert with a professional – get a second opinion if necessary.
Alternatively you could see a massage therapist, that may help with reducing the symptoms of pain and discomfort while you seek remedies to correct the source and eliminate the cause of the pain you are having.
I’m sorry to hear your pain isn’t getting better yet…I would make sure you have the correct cause of pain. Do you sit at a desk during the day or hold a phone to your ear a lot? The repetitive activity could be causing the pain as well as stress (we tend to hunch and tighten up our shoulders). If indeed you do have overused upper traps, there are a variety of scapular and neck exercises you can do to alleviate the pain. Correcting any postural or muscle imbalances may help as well.
IdeaFit has an article at www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/repetitive-stress-injury and another one at www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/trapezius-strain-upper-trapezius-pain.
Hopefully some of the information helps you. If these exercises and the ones your trainer has given you do not help, you should see a physician about your pain.
In order for us to really help you, it would be good to know what the exercises are and how frequently you have been doing them.
As others have already said, what type of pain are you experiencing? A little muscle soreness post-workout is acceptable, but more acute pain could indicate muscle strain, commonly caused by overdoing the loading of the exercises, with too heavy weight, too many sets an repetitions or all 3. If you provided this info we may be able to tell if you are overdoing it. Also do you see the trainer regularly to review the program? I you have not seen him/her for 8 weeks or even as little as 2 weeks (don’t take this personally!) there is a good change you are doing them wrong. Regular reviews of programs are very important and 8 weeks would definitely be too long to go without one, for any client of any ability level.
Say you are doing everything correctly, but pain is continuing or even getting worse, and the traps just keep tightening up again, you could have compression of the nerves serving the muscles, caused by poor posture, spine vertebra mis-alignment, or even a bulged spinal disk. If this is more like your case, definitely seek medical advice.
It is also possible the exercises given to you aren’t the right ones to correct your particular issue with the traps.
As others have already mentioned, if your issues are caused by lifestyle, it can take as long as 3-12 months to see real improvements. Say you work 40 hours per week typing ad telephoning at a computer desk and have done for 20 years, 2 hours of exercises per week won’t give you much of an improvement. Postural correction is a labour I love for the client and he or she needs to be very dedicated to the cause, making as many lifestyle adjustments as possible to help process along and get themselves out of pain.
I hope this helps you! Good luck!
There are a few considerations that you may want to consider as a holistic way to treat your pain.
First off, it sounds as if your physical therapist has covered some exercises for you, which will help to build strength if indeed, your arm are weak and a muscle imbalance is causing your pain. The way you perform the exercises is important, so an experienced trainer may be able to help you troubleshoot your form & adjust your other workout components appropriately
Muscle imbalances often stem from improper ergonomics at your workstation, at home, etc. It would be useful to get an ergonomic evaluation from an expert – many products that are marketed as ergonomic are not truly good fits for people.
For immediate relief, you could seek out various forms of manual therapy. Your PT would likely have a TENS unit, and could recommend a home version if it appeared to help with your pain. Someone else mentioned massage, but you may benefit from finding a person with specific experience in trigger point release, fascial stretch therapy, or strain/counterstrain therapy. The qualified practitioners for these types of treatments range from massage therapists, personal trainers, PTs, and occupational therapists, so depending on your area, you may have to search around a bit.
Are you currently practicing any stretch techniques? Sometimes, trying to power through a problem without proper rest can cause overly sore muscles, and therefore, more pain. You may want to explore some yoga/relaxation breathing practices to help aid your recovery.