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Headache Beside Crown with Achy Eye Pain

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get relief,
and more…

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

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

People complain of an intense headache that makes their eyes hurt. When I ask them about other areas of pain, they will describe the headache near the top of their head but make a gesture to the back of their head beside the crown. They usually focused on eye pain and say that it makes their eyes hurt. On the other hand, headaches, like this one, seem to pinpoint in the back of the eye.

Tired Eyes

At times, they complain about achy, tired eyes. Often, they associate it with visual strain. In those cases, they complain of things like bright lights, hours of study, or small print. For example, if they wear a hat, they often wear it loosely or complain that it creates a headache or makes their eyes hurt. One client refers to it as “crazy eyes.” She wears a loose baseball cap almost all the time. She says that the bill blocks the light, but the hat is not tight enough to create a headache.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Ryan Braun shows off his occipitalis muscle.

This muscle shifts the hair back, lifting the eyebrows without wrinkling the forehead to create that look of reflective disappointment. When this headache is acting up, this motion increases the pain. But, of course, you’d have to be a clown or have a lot of disappointing conversations to create these headaches through over-use of the occipitalis.

Bump or Squeeze

Most often, this trigger point usually is activated through physical pressure. For example, this might include pressure from a hat, laying your head on something hard, or bumping the back of the head on a cabinet. However, once this is aggravated, even things that normally don’t bother you, like the pressure of the tip of the stem on your sunglasses, can irritate this.

Occasionally, it is a satellite trigger point from the referral of trigger points in the neck.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Anatomy – Throacic Outlet

The anatomy of these structures is important to understand the syndrome. This post walks through the structures one at a time.

This is a flat muscle behind the ear that raises the eyebrows. You can read more about it in this post on the anatomy of occipitalis.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

Take a look at this post for what you may be doing to perpetuate this problem and some easy, effective strategies for getting rid of the pattern.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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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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*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.

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