The trapezius muscle is a large diamond shaped muscle in your upper and middle back and neck. It it responsible for both shoulder and neck movements. Trigger points in the upper portion of this muscle are the most common points to develop in the body. These trigger points most often occur due to poor posture, such as a slumped sitting posture. Trigger points in the upper portion of the traps will cause pain to refer into the neck, head, and into the temple. These points are one of the most common causes of headaches.
The temporalis muscle is located on the sides of the skull at the temple. This muscle assists in jaw movements for chewing and talking etc. This muscle can become overworked from excessive clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth from stress. Poor neck posture can also stress the muscles of the jaw. When this happens trigger points can form. These points can refer pain into the temple, skull, and face. These trigger points can also cause tooth sensitivity and pain.
The lateral pterygoid muscle is involved in movement of the jaw. It can become become strained from chronic clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth. When this happened trigger points can form. This leads not only to pain and refered pain, but also dysfunctional joint mechanics. This muscle is a major player in TMJ dysfunction syndrome.
The medial pteragoyd muscle is located on the inside of the jaw. It is responsible for jaw movements during talking and chewing. This muscle becomes over loaded from poor neck posture as well as stress resulting in grinding the teeth or excessive clenching of the jaw. Trigger points in this muscle will refer deep into the jaw and the tempomandibular joint producing “tmj dysfunction syndrome.
The trapezius muscle or traps is a large muscle in the mid and upper back as well as the neck. This muscle plays an important role in shoulder and neck movement. With a chronic head forward shoulders rounded posture this muscle can become chronically overloaded and strained. When this happens trigger points can form. These points will refer pain into the neck, skull, and into the temple causing headaches. Trigger points won’t release by themselves, they need a manual technique like trigger point massage.
The sternocleidomastoid muscles are two strap like muscles located in the front of the neck. They are responsible for producing head movements like flexion, as well as rotating the head to the opposite side. These muscles often become chronically shortened due to poor posture such as sitting in front of a computer screen for to long. When this happens trigger points can form. These points will refer pain into the head, face, and skull producing headaches. Trigger points won’t resolve by themselves, a manual intervention like trigger point massage is required to cause a release.
Trigger points are hyper irritable knots found in muscle tissue. These points form in a muscle due to overload stress. Trigger points can form anywhere, in any muscle. Once formed they irritate sensory nerves and produce pain, refered pain, weakness, and stiffness. Trigger points will also mimic symptoms of other conditions such as “sciatica” or Carple tunnel syndrome. Trigger points will not go away on there own, they must be manually released with hands on techniques like trigger point massage.