Want to skip ahead?
Here’s link to my post about
getting relief on your own.
With this trigger point, people complain about tension and a focus on pain and tension at the base of their head. When I press for more detail, they may tell me about the tension in their neck and under the shoulder. It is easy to feel the tender knot on the backside about halfway down the neck. Occasionally, people complain about the pain under the shoulder as being more of a bother.
People complain more about achy pain than restricted movement. This muscle doesn’t restrict the mobility of the neck as much as others. For Instance, the levator scapula creates similar pattern but with more severe restrictions. If you have a lot of stiffness, refer to these posts on stiff necks.
Often, I have a mild version of this while I’m seated at the therapy table. Gently lifting my head and using stretch #2 and #3 from this self-care post shifts in the mid-neck with immediate relief.
People are seldom aware of how they aggravated this trigger point, although many complain about doing too much computer work or sleeping in an awkward position. They are bothered by the focus of pain at the base of their head or under the shoulder when they crane their neck like this.
Also, this is one of the patterns that result from whiplash. It usually appears after the therapist has resolved more severe patterns.
It is worth noting that many trigger points have similar patterns of pain. People are usually clear about how those started and when it bothers them. Browse at this collection of posts on Forward-Head Posture and see if there is a trigger point that better matches your pattern.
This post on anatomy contains standard information about the origin, insertion, function, and innervation of muscles. It also includes information on functional considerations and anomalies.
Anatomy posts have a grid of all related posts. This includes posts on pain patterns, self-care, therapy notes, NMT protocols, cranial techniques, and cases.
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.
This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.
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 so much for being so supportive.
This video is a brief overview of the Integrative Bodywork Model. It explores the difference between integrated and integrated approaches. Additionally., it walks through an example.
We want your feedback! We are in the process of creating a format for individual muscles.
Please drop us a note at
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.
Question? Comment? Typo?
Follow us on Instagram
*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.
Overview This technique releases restrictions between the parietal bones along the sagittal suture. This staple…
Here, you will find strategies for relief from a band of pain across your mid-back…
Zygomatic Decompression is a fairly standard intra-oral technique in osteopathic cranial. Soft Tissue Focus Soft…
"Strain, Right Shift, and Shear" is a complex but essential technique. This SBS technique governs…
Frontal-Maxilla Twist and Distraction specifically targets restrictions related to Common Structural Asymmetries. Soft Tissue Focus…
This technique may be used to evaluate or release structural restrictions in the articulations of…