Headaches

Headache Above/ Behind Ear Wearing Hat

Trigger point pain post includes

  • how people describe this problem
  • activities that create or aggravate the trigger point
  • links to relief through self-care, anatomy, and massage notes

Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

Here, you’ll find information about the two trigger points that create headaches on the side of the head, above, and behind the ear.

There are 3 or 4 headache patterns that come off the trigger points in the temporalis. Each one has a band of pain that extends upward. And, most associate with sensitivity in the upper teeth. Like the bands of pain, the trigger points in the front create sensitivity in the front teeth, and the trigger points in the back create sensitivity in the back teeth.

headache strip above the ear and in upper teeth

Pain Over the Ear

People complain of a strip of pain above or behind the ear. Mainly, it occurs when a hat presses into the side of their head. When the headache is directly over the ear, there is often tooth sensitivity in their upper molars. However, people seldom mention these tooth problems to the bodyworker – unless that bodyworker specializes in cranial work.

When suspected, the bodyworker feels for a taut strip of muscle extending away from the ear toward the band of pain.

headache strip behind ear

Pain Behind the Ear

This strip of headache behind the head comes from a band of tight muscle behind the ear. A tight band is almost always palpable and tender to the touch. Just feeling for the tight band often aggravates the headache.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

The pattern in this post can also feel like it is above or behind the ear. This one can also feel a lot like a migraine. However, hats don’t bother these people. Instead, they often wear a hat to reduce headaches by shielding their eyes.

The pattern is, however, quite different. Instead of a strip up the side of the head, this feels more like a band through the top of the ear.

The stormtrooper in the back whacks his forehead.

Also, if this comes from bumping your head, you probably hit the front and snapped your head back.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Bumping Your Head or Overworking Your Jaw

These two trigger points are more likely to be caused by a blow to the head and aggravated by a tight headband. They, of course, also get irritated by dentistry or chewing something like ice or taffy. However, this usually comes from a sharp blow to the side or back of the head. Also, it usually involves something hard like a baseball or the corner of a cabinet.


The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Musculoskeletal Anatomy

About these Illustrations…

This post on anatomy contains the standard information about origin, insertion, function, and innervation. It also includes information on functional considerations and anomalies. This is also the place to find all posts related to this muscle.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

Self-Care Posts have common sections to make them easy to follow and understand:

  • Activities to Avoid or Change
  • Strategies for Quick Relief
  • Stretches and Exercise for Longer-Lasting Relief
  • Yoga Corner

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

Therapy Notes have common sections so that treatment planning and techniques are easier for both the patient and practitioner.

Additionally, Integrative Treatment Sequencing produces more reliable results that last longer.

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This video is a brief overview of the Integrative Bodywork Model. It explores the difference between integrated and integrated approaches. Additionally., it walks through an example.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.

Tony Preston

Tony Preston, LMT has been treating adults and children since the early 90s. He has authored a number of texts on neuromuscular and craniosacral techniques. He has taught Neuromuscular Therapy for ASHA School of Massage and craniosacral the National Institute of Craniosacral Studies. He currently teaches seminars in Integrative Craniosacral techniques at The Body Guild.

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