Treating the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle (SCM)
The Sternocleidomastoid Muscle
Active Trigger Points in the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Can Appear for a Host of Reasons - the Symptoms Can Often be Chronic Pain
This Sternocleidomastoid is a long strap muscle with two heads. It is sometimes injured at birth, and may be partly replaced by fibrous tissue that contracts to produce a torticollis (wry neck). A hugely important muscle for trigger point therapists.
Generally speaking, the sternocleidomastoid is the muscle that most people feel hurting or tense when performing sit-ups.
When short, it changes the position of the head on the neck, resulting in a forward-head posture; this sets up the foundation for kinetic chain pain and postural changes, leading to compensation, change of gait, and decompensation.
Rounded shoulders often have their roots in a short sternocleidomastoid.
Trigger Point Anatomy - Sternocleidomastoid (SCM)
Trigger Point Referred Pain Patterns
Sternal head: pain in occiput, radiating anteriorly to eyebrow, cheek, and throat (eye and sinus). Clavicular head: frontal headache, earache, mastoid pain (dizziness and spatial awareness).
Tension headache, whiplash, stiff neck, atypical facial neuralgia, hangover headache, postural dizziness, altered SNS symptoms to half of face, lowered spatial awareness, ptosis.
May also be associated with (existing) persistent dry, tickling cough, sinusitis and chronic sore throats, increased eye tearing and reddening, popping sounds in the ear (one sided), balance problems, and veering to one side when driving.
Treating SCM Trigger Points