TRIGGER POINT OF THE WEEK – STERNOCLEIDOMASTOID
Trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid muscle can be implicated in a diverse range of musculoskeletal issues; from restricted cervical spine mobility to headaches and facial pain. Anatomically the sternocleidomastoid muscle has two heads, the sternal and the clavicular. Trigger points in thesternal head tend to manifest pain in the occiput, radiating anteriorly to eyebrow, cheek, and throat (eye and sinus). Where as those in the clavicular head tend to manifest as frontal headache, earache and mastoid pain sometimes accompanied by dizziness and a loss of spatial awareness.
The sternocleidomastoid muscle 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, the sternocleidomastoid has several hidden secrets. The clavicular head for example can be implicated in a range of autonomic nervous system symptoms such as ptosis, goosebumps, dry cough, increased tears and even altered pupil reflex. Trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid are common with aging and also after whiplash injury (Whiplash associated disorder).
How do you treat trigger these trigger points? We’d be delighted if you want to share your own best practice.