Trigger points and headaches

One of the most common sources of headache pain is trigger points in the neck muscles. These muscles are often overloaded from poor posture such as sitting in front of a computer or looking down at you phone for long periods of time. Trigger points that form in the upper traps are the most common trigger points in the body. They refer pain up the neck, behind the ear into the temple. The suboccipital muscles refer pain deep into the skull behind the eye. Sternocleidomastoid trigger points will refer pain to the top of the head and around the orbit of the eye. Trigger points need to be manually released to be resolved.

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Myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a stimulus, such as muscle tightness, that sets off trigger points in your muscles. Factors that may increase your risk of muscle

trigger points include:

  • Muscle injury. An acute muscle injury or continual muscle stress may lead to the development of trigger points. For example, a spot within or near a strained muscle may become a trigger point. Repetitive motions and poor posture also may increase your risk.
  • Stress and anxiety. People who frequently experience stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles. One theory holds that these people may be more likely to clench their muscles, a form of repeated strain that leaves muscles susceptible to trigger point

What is myofascial pain syndrome?

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain.

This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension.

The suboccipital muscles and headaches.

The suboccipital muscles are four small muscles located at the base of the skull. These muscles work to stabilize the skull on the cervical spine as well as produce movements of the head and the first two vertebrae. The suboccitpitals are often overworked from poor posture such as sitting in front of a computer for prolonged periods of time. When this happens trigger points can form in the muscles. These points will produce a deep achy pain felt through the inside of the skull into the temple and behind the eye. Trigger points in these muscles are a major cause of headaches.