Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,
The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get Relief,
Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.
How People Describe This Pain Pattern
Clients touch the top of their heads, saying, “I have a headache on the top of my head.” Almost always, they lean forward with their chin up and turned to one side while talking. As well, they tend to slump forward at the waist while sitting to make this more comfortable.
Neck Tension too.
Many of them complain of neck tension, especially when turning their head. They often note that it is tight where they touch near the top of the back of their neck. The headache is consistently more bothersome than neck tension.
How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern
The original research talked about it being a problem with bird watchers. Currently, it seems more common in people who lean toward their monitors while twisting to one side. I have also seen this from painting the molding. You could get it from watching TV at the sports bar, but looking down at the chicken wings and drinking beer breaks up the pattern, so I don’t see many of them.
This headache on top of the head is more likely to become a problem when supporting the neck for long periods in one position. It often happens when one is sleeping or resting on their chin on their hand while using the computer.
This muscle is almost always involved in cases of vehicular whiplash.
The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain
Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle
Sometimes the headache at the top of the head is caused by this muscle. It has a different focus on self-care strategies and some different symptoms that might lead you to more effective relief. Take a look at this post.
Getting Relief on Your Own
This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, and other strategies that relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.
Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise
This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.
Support Integrative Works to
and produce great content.
You can subscribe to our community on Patreon. You will get links to free content and access to exclusive content not seen on this site. In addition, we will be posting anatomy illustrations, treatment notes, and sections from our manuals not found on this site. Thank you for your support.
Does Your Shoulder Hurt From the Covid-19 Vaccine?
This post offers quick, lasting relief from the pain in your shoulder that came from the vaccine. You will need an ice cube and about 2 minutes.
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.
*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 will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.