Self Care – Headache At Your Temple

Changing Your Activities.

This is one of the most active trigger points among clients because there are so many ways to activate the pattern and the trapezius is hard to avoid moving during the normal day. If the stiff neck or headache is persistent see your bodyworker for lasting relief.

This problem can be hard to resolve when a yank on the shoulder has created a problem in the joints on either end of the clavicle. A binding or mild separation in the acromioclavicular joint can perpetuate this trigger point activity.

If you sit at a desk with your elbows on the armrests, this muscle will shorten, and the headache will usually lessen. Unfortunately, when you get up from the desk this part of the trapezius will stretch as your shoulder drops. The headache will then get worse as the trapezius supports the weight of the shoulder.

A lot has been written about using chairs with the right armrests instead of actually dealing with the underlying problem. Your goal should be that the trapezius shortens and lengthens comfortably.

What To Do:

When the focus of pain is mostly at the temple with tension in your neck. It is unlikely that you would think of massaging just above the collar-bone to get rid of the headache. A little ice or heat on the fleshy part of the shoulder just above the collarbone helps to release this trigger point but seldom gives lasting relief to the stiff neck.

A little topical pain relief patch works well for lasting relief. These patches from Salonpas are a great value, effective, and clients seem to like the sensation in this spot. These patches don’t generate much smell and they offer lasting relief through the day when it gets aggravated from movement. Place the patch so that it starts right where her middle finger touches and lay it along that crest of the trapezius that extends up toward the neck. These are available in most grocery and drug stores or you can get them on Amazon.

A Longer Lasting Option:

If the neck is stiff when moved in almost any direction, there is more than one muscle involved. Try this stretching exercise. You can do it several times a day and may get nice relief, especially if there are some gentle clicks as you are stretching.

If this problem persists, your bodyworker will know how to deal with underlying factors, like Forward-Head Posture, underlying joint problems, etc.

These are self-care ideas for the trigger point referrals described in this post. Consider other trigger point patterns that refer into the temple or that create a stiff neck.

and some related posts…

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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