Neck-ache Headache, Eye-ache

Your pain pattern,
What aggravates it,
How to get relief,
and more…

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

People complain of a headache behind the eye.  When the headache pattern is severe, they trace their hand along the side of their head from the back of their neck across their ear focusing their fingertips on their eye.  

There are several headache patterns in the eye, so I always ask for as many specifics as possible. If they are a regular client, they tell me that it comes out of the neck and creates pain through the middle of their head. Some of them actually touch the spot of the trigger point and complain of tension and stiffness there. The muscle is usually stiff or swollen on the side of pain.

People don’t usually talk to their massage therapist about blurred vision or anxiety but this trigger point is associated with those symptoms. I have often found this in special needs children that are stuck in fight-or-flight. These symptoms seem to clear up quickly when the trigger point is released. If it is an adult, I ask them about their vision and anxiety before and after to help them make the connection.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

This is often aggravated by a sharp forward bend in the base of the neck but with a turn to one side. This posture is more likely to create tension in the eye and blurred vision.

It is one of the most common pain generators in Forward Head posture. The Self-care post has exercises that help to resolve long term postural pattern that perpetuate the trigger points in this pain pattern.

This is one of the headaches that you can get from craning your neck as you jut your chin forward and down to look at your laptop.

It is also a common pattern that occurs in the process of dealing with whiplash.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

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.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Recommendations.

This post has stretches, exercise, and changes in your activities for relief from this trigger point pattern.

Treatment Notes for Therapists

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise.

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

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.

Weekly Featured Post

Optimizing Tension for
the Best Day Ever

This post explores this idea and optimizing the ever-present tension in our lives for our best performance.

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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