Posts Tagged ‘sternocleidomastoid’

Sternocleido-what? Part 3 of 4

By Sharon Truelove

In parts 1 and 2 of our Sternocleidomastoid series of 4, we discussed referred pain and balance problems.

The Sternocleidomastoid is palpated easily.  It attaches at the sternum, the clavicle and the mastoid process which is behind the ear. It allows the head to turn and also helps to maintain stability of the head when the body is in movement.  Trigger points in SCM, can cause a wide variety of symptoms that are often misdiagnosed.

When trigger points are found in the sternal  branch of SCM; blurred, dimmed or double vision may result.  Trigger points in SCM can also cause droopy eyelids from referred spams in orbicularis oculi as well as eye twitching. When you are reading, the text may seem to jump around on the page. Red eyes, tearing of eyes, even a runny nose can be culprits of referred trigger points.

 

 

 

 

 

Technique:  To see if you have any tender spots, feel along the attachment site at the sternal end. If you find any tenders spots, apply compression and as you feel the tissue soften begin to apply cross fiber friction.

Challenge:

1. Do any of you suffer from the above trigger point symptoms that affect vision/eyes?

2. Locate your own SCM and see if there are any tender spots in the sternal branch.  If so, massage them out and report your findings.

3. Find someone with tender or trigger points in their SCM and help them feel better via massage and report you findings.

27

04 2012

Sternocleido-what? Part 2 of 4

By Sharon Truelove

Daily stress can accumulate and hold in the neck area and escalate to the point of restricting out daily activities.  Let us continue our discussion from Part 1 of 4 to see how we can help decrease the tension  and take a quick review of Sternocleidomastoid  before we continue to Part 2 of 4.

The Sternocleidomastoid is palpated easily.  It attaches at the sternum, the clavicle and the mastoid process which is behind the ear. It allows the head to turn and also helps to maintain stability of the head when the body is in movement.

Trigger points in SCM, can cause a wide variety of symptoms that are often misdiagnosed. We studied Balance problems in Part 1. In Part 2, we discuss referred pain.

Even though trigger points in SCM may be tender, they won’t usually cause pain in the SCM itself. Swollen lymphs usually get the blame when SCM trigger points are misidentified. These particular trigger points may actually present with no pain, but the stiffness it may cause can prompt leaning the head to one side.

When trigger points are located in the sternal branch they may exhibit as deep eye pain, tongue pain upon swallowing, headaches over the eye, behind the ear, and on top of the head and may also play a role in TMJ pain felt in the jaw muscles or the back of the neck. Frontal headaches are a sign of SCM trigger points.

Some rare referrals are: SCM pain being  referred down to the top of the breastbone,  pain felt in the side of the face imitating “trigeminal neuralgia”, or pain in the cheek being taken for sinusitis.

The clavicular branch may produce deep earache and toothache of the back molars.

To massage the clavicular branch of SCM first locate it by turning your head to one side. While looking in a mirror, firmly grasp that cable of muscle that pops up between your fingers and thumb and knead it. Spend only a couple of minutes on each side daily. Don’t massage if you feel a pulse, this is probably the carotid pulse.

 

Your homework:

1. Locate your own SCM and see if there are any tender spots. If so, massage them out and report your findings.

2. Find someone with tender or trigger points in their SCM and help them feel better via massage and report you findings.

30

03 2012

Sternocleido-what? Part 1 of 4

By Sharon Truelove

The Sternocleidomastoid is a muscle that can be seen and palpated easily. Attached at the sternum, the clavicle and the mastoid process which is behind the ear;  sternocleidomastoid (SCM) allows the head to turn and also helps to maintain stability of the head when the body is in movement.

When trigger points are present in SCM, they may cause are great variety of symptoms that are often misdiagnosed and can be divided into four groups.

Balance problems

Referred pain

Visual disturbances

Systemic problems

Causes of SCM trigger points are often caused by holding postures too long or abnormally or injury. Examples are holding your head back to work (painting a ceiling), holding the head turned to one side (sleeping on your stomach), lower body issues that cause abnormal posture can cause the neck muscles to be overtaxed in an effort to compensate, whiplash, heavy lifting, respiratory problems.

Part  I will discuss balance problems. Trigger points in the clavicular branch of SCM can cause:

Dizziness

Nauseous

Tendency to lurch or fall

Fainting

These symptoms may last anywhere from a few minutes to days and often physicians may diagnose someone with vertigo or Meniere’s disease.

 

 

The myofascia in the clavicular branch of SCM helps with spatial orientation. When the tissues tighten it can send confusing signals to the brain. These trigger points can also cause unilateral deafness because of tiny stapedius and tensor tympani muscles that attach to the tiny middle ear bones; much like winding a guitar string too tight, vibrations are inhibited in the inner ear. Massage of the jaw and SCM  trigger points has been reported to bring back normal hearing.

To massage the clavicular branch of SCM first locate it by turning your head to one side. While looking in a mirror, firmly grasp that cable of muscle that pops ups between your fingers and thumb and knead it. This simple technique has been known immediately cure pain that it may cause. You should not have to spend more than a couple of minutes on each side daily. Don’t massage if you feel a pulse, this is probably the carotid pulse.

Locate your own SCM and see if there are any tender spots. If so, massage them out and report your findings. If you happen to be so lucky as to not have any tender SCM points, find someone who does and help them feel better.

02

03 2012