Trigger Point Therapy - Splenius Capitis/Splenius Cervicis
Neck Pain and Stiffness - Trigger Points are likely to re-activate where poor posture isn't addressed
Neck pain and stiffness is often related to active trigger points in the muscles of the neck
Whilst these trigger points may remain dormant for years, they will often suddenly activate.
In most cases, it is poor posture (long term) rather than trauma that activates these triggers.
Splenius Capitis/Splenius Cervicis
Greek splenion, bandage; Latin capitis, of the head; cervicis, of the neck
Splenius Capitis Trigger Point
Splenius Cervicis Trigger Points
Splenius capitis: lower part of ligamentum nuchae. Spinous processes of the 7th cervical vertebra (C7), and upper 3 or 4 thoracic vertebrae (T1–T4).
Splenius cervicis: spinous processes of the 3rd to 6th thoracic vertebrae (T3–T6).
Splenius capitis: posterior aspect of mastoid process of temporal bone. Lateral part of superior nuchal line, deep to the attachment of the SCM. Splenius cervicis: posterior tubercles of transverse processes of the upper 2 or 3 cervical vertebrae (C1–C3).
Acting together: extend head and neck.
Individually: laterally exes neck. Rotates face to same side as contracting muscle.
Dorsal rami of middle and lower cervical nerves.
Basic Functional Movement
Examples: looking up; turning head to look behind.
Splenius Capitis - Referred Pain
Splenius Cervicis Referred Pain
Splenius capitis: 3–5 cm zone of pain in center of vertex of skull. Splenius cervicis: (a) upper: occipital diffuse pain, radiating via temporal region toward ipsilateral eye; (b) lower: ipsilateral pain in nape of neck.
Headache, neck pain, eye pain, blurred vision (rare), whiplash, pain from draught, postural neck pain (occupational), “internal” skull pain, neck stiffness, decreased ipsilateral rotation.
Poor posture, playing musical instruments, lying on front with head propped up, poor glasses, upper crossed pattern, kyphosis, scoliosis, wear and tear, cold drafts/ air conditioning, vertebral alignment issues, certain sports (e.g. archery), tight shirt/tie, depression.
Other types of headache. 1st rib dysfunction. Torticollis. Optical problems (eyestrain). Neurological. Stress.
Trapezius, SCM, masseter, temporalis, multifidus, semispinalis capitis, suboccipital muscles, occipitofrontalis, levator scapulae, pectoralis major.
Avoid postural/maintaining factors, answering the telephone. Work posture. Self-stretch program. Glasses (type, try trifocals).
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