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How To Find Trigger Points - Sternocleidomastoid (SCM)

Posted by Judith Winer on

 SCM Trigger Points


ActiveTrigger Points in the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Can Appear for a Host of Reasons - the Symptoms Can Often be Chronic Pain


Trigger Point Anatomy - Sternocleidomastoid (SCM)


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.



Treating SCM Trigger Points


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.



This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.  





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