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 multifidus muscle is a long muscle that travels the length of the spine. It has different actions on different parts of the spine. It extends and laterally flexes the cervical and lumbar spine, and rotates the thoracic spine. Trigger points in this muscle are common due to poor posture and bad movement mechanics. Trigger points in the lumbar area area are a common cause of low back pain. These lower points can also refer into the abdomen. Points that form in the cervical region will refer pain down the neck into the shoulder blade area.
The rectus femoris muscle is one of your quad muscles. It acts primarily to extend the knee but it also helps to flex the hip. This muscle is often overloaded from athletic activity, but it also can become chronically shortened from prolonged sitting. Trigger points will refer pain deep into the knee producing a deep ache felt into the joint.
the serratus anterior muscle is located on the side of the trunk. It attaches onto the ribs and the scapulae. This muscle assists in scapular motion and stability as well as assisting the movement of the ribs. Trigger points can form in this muscle due to poor shoulder posture. Once formed, these points will cause pain to be felt in the side, under the armpit, and down the inside of the arm. Once formed trigger points will not release on their own, they require a manual technique such as trigger point massage.