Therapist Notes – Neck-ache, headache, eye-ache

This trigger point comes from the splenius cervicis muscle. The trigger point is actually near the attachment at C3.

The lower cervicals should be mobilized before attempting to release the tendons in the pocket between the upper trapezius and the upper ribs. They can also be released with NMT protocol for anterior cervical work or stretches #6, #7 and #8 from The Box.

Effective relief starts with an understanding of the anatomy.

About the coloring of the illustrations…

This muscle straps down other muscles while it helps to turn and bend the neck. You can read more about it in this post on splenius cervicis.


This is all about getting the middle and lower cervical vertebrae balanced. That is best done by starting with the atlas. In this case, the atlas is usually displaced anteriorly. Start by evaluating and mobilizing the atlas.

This trigger point is governed by proprioceptive input from the third cervical. The muscle is innervated by the lower cervical. Evaluate the cervical vertebrae. Using static mobilizations or strain-counterstain resolve cervical displacements. Trigger points in the multfidi usually give this away.

Release remaining trigger points in the lamina groove.

The inferior glides of the cervical lamina routine can be extended into the upper thoracics to help release this muscle.

Release the splenii tendons,
if they still need it.

Usually, the splenius cervicis trigger point near C2 is released. IF not, this routine targets the tendons but can be rough on the thumb and painful for clients without the pre-release of the rib heads and anterior cervicals. This protocol requires a little deeper penetration for the splenius cervicis.


Here’s a section from Neuromuscular Assessment

NMA-splenius-cervicis


This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.


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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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