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.

Trigger points and headaches

Trigger points in a number of muscles can refer pain into the head causing headaches. One of the most common muscles is the trapezius. This is a large diamond shaped muscle in the upper back and neck. Trigger points in the upper portion of this muscle are the most common trigger points in the body. These points will refer pain into the head, behind the ear and into the temple. Trigger points usually won’t resolve on their own, a therapeutic intervention is required to release the point.

Trigger points and headaches.

Myofascial trigger points are contracted knots of muscle tissue. They result from overload stress, and are one of the most prevelent injuries to muscle tissue. They are also one of the most common sources of pain in the body. Headaches are one type of pain that trigger points frequently cause. A number of muscles can cause pain to refer into the head and temples. One of the more common offenders is the sternocleidomastoid muscle. This muscle is often overworked from poor neck posture, and the trigger points that can form will refer pain into the head, temple, and around the eye. Trigger points don’t release on their own, a manual therapy like trigger point massage is required to treat the area and relieve symptoms.