Addressing Headaches Through Muscles

trigger point

Addressing headaches through trigger point therapy.

Common causes of headaches are tight muscles in the upper back, shoulders and neck. There are multiple presentations depending on which muscles are in spasm.   One of the most prevalent patterns is the referred pain pattern from upper trapezius.

The upper trapezius muscle connects the shoulder to the neck and head. It is commonly felt as a hard knotted lump in people who are suffering from these headaches. There are many causes for it tightening, the most common are: whiplash, postural, workplace ergonomics, and overuse. The pain it causes runs along the side of the head from the neck to the edge of the eye. Frequently this would be described as a headache on the side of the head, or a temporal headache.

The areas in red on the diagram show the areas where pain shows up when this muscle is in spasm.

This would be a headache or migraine like symptoms.  

In my clinical experience, when a patient presents with this pain pattern, treatment is generally relatively straightforward to get on top of the pain. We work to find the tight fibers of the muscle, and through direct needling of the trigger point, distal meridian needle, or needle free neuromuscular techniques (generally a combination of all three) we are able to get the muscle out of spasm and alleviate the headaches. In the process, it really makes the shoulders feel better as well.

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from headaches or neck pain, please feel free to call to see if acupuncture can help you.

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