These posts are all related to your painful, stiff neck. Most people refer to the limited, painful rotation when they speak of a stiff neck. However, a small majority of people refer to difficulty in lateral movement (leaning from side to side).
The majority of rotation (about 70%) happens in the joint between the first and second vertebrae, the atlantoaxial joint. Therefore, the majority of trigger points that produce stiffness in rotation attach to these top two vertebrae. The two muscles that most commonly produce sharp pain on rotation are the levator scapula and splenius cervicis. These two muscles originate from below the base of the neck and extend along the side of the neck. Then, they insert on the tips of the transverse processes of the top three or four vertebrae. When both have active trigger points, the neck becomes very painful and stiff. In fact, the pain becomes more sharp and severe when any of the other attachments to C1 and C2 have active trigger points.
The trigger points in this collection are often, but not always, connected to Forward-Head Posture or Cervicogenic Headaches. As a result, you will find a large overlap in these 3 collections.
These posts include:
- Trigger point patterns and how people describe the pain
- How you activate and intensify the pain pattern
- Self-care to show you how to get quick relief on your own
- Stretches and exercises that provide longer-lasting relief
- Brief anatomy review of the involved muscle
- Yoga poses that open this muscle
- Treatment notes for therapists
Note that we are in the process of converting these posts into a more informative and accessible format. Thank you for your patience.
Forward-Head Posture Overview
Headache at the Base of The Head
Headache At Your Temple with Stiff Neck
Headache on the Top of Your Head
Headache with Tender Top of Neck While Turning
Neck-ache Headache, Eye-ache
Pain at the Base of the Head and Under Shoulder Blade
Self Care – Breathing Exercises to Reduce Shoulder Tension
Self Care – Forward-Head Posture
Self Care – Headache and Tender at Top of Neck when Turning Head
Self Care – Headache at the Base of the Head
Self Care – Headache At Your Temple
Self Care – Headache on the Top of Your Head
Self Care – Neck Pain with Sore Shoulder
Self Care – Neck tension when wearing a heavy coat
Self Care – Pain at the Base of the Head and Under Shoulder Blade
Self Care – Stiffness at the base of the neck
Self Care – Stiffness up the side of the neck
Self Care – The Box – Ice and Stretch for Your Neck
Self Care – Tuck Tilt Turn Lift to Correct Forward-Head Posture
Stiff Neck: Pain Patterns and Self-Care
Stiffness and Pain at the Base of the Neck When Turning
Stiffness up the side of the neck when turning
Upper Neck Pain with Sore Top of Shoulder
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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.