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Trigger Point Therapy - Treating Occipitofrontalis (Epicranius)

Posted by Judith Winer on

 

Occipitofrontalis Epicranius Trigger Points

Occipitofrontalis (Epicranius) - Common Trigger Point Sites

 

The epicranius is essentially two muscle gasters with a strong fascial connection between them called the galea aponeurotica.

Spasm in muscles such as the hamstrings (e.g. biceps femoris) or the plantar fascia can cause tightness through this area, ultimately causing tension in the head and neck, or headaches.

Tension anywhere along the posterior back-line kinetic chain can lead to shortening of the galea aponeurotica, resulting in tension headaches and a hyperextended cervical spine.

This can result in a posteriorly tilted pelvis in order to provide a level eye view when walking or running, and is a recipe for myofascial trigger point formation.

Pain from these trigger points is typically referred upward from the frontalis over the forehead on the same side. The occipitalis can also refer pain into the eyeball or behind the eye, and can travel down behind the ear and into the nose.

Sensitivity to sound and light are often reported, with a resulting increase in experienced pain.

Origin

Occipitalis: lateral two-thirds of superior nuchal line of occipital bone. Mastoid process of temporal bone.

Frontalis: galea aponeurotica.

Insertion

Occipitalis: galea aponeurotica (a sheet-like tendon leading to frontal belly).
Frontalis: fascia and skin above eyes and nose.

Action

Occipitalis: pulls scalp backward. Assists frontal belly to raise eyebrows and wrinkle forehead. Frontalis: pulls scalp forward. Raises eyebrows and wrinkles skin of forehead horizontally.

Nerve

Facial V11 nerve. BASIC FUNCTIONAL

Movement

Example: raising eyebrows (wrinkling skin of forehead horizontally).

Indications

Headache, pain (back of head), cannot sleep on back/pillow, earache, pain behind eye/eyebrow/ eyelid, visual activity, “jumping text” on reading black and white print, squinting, wrinkly forehead, tension headache, pain above eye.

Causes

Anxiety, overwork, lifestyle, computer use, wrong glasses, frowning.

Differential Diagnosis

Scalp tingling. Greater occipital nerve entrapment.

Connections

Suboccipital muscles, clavicular division of SCM, semispinalis capitis, zygomaticus major, platysma, scalenes, posterior neck muscles, eye muscles.

 

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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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