Muscle Knots in Neck & Head
Muscle knots located in the neck and upper back/shoulder area can cause headaches, neck, and other head and neck pain. Muscle knots can cause headaches on the side of the head, the top of the head, behind and over the eye.
Head and neck muscle knots, which consist of tight and contracted muscles, have been illustrated below by a black dot. The red area in the illustrations indicates “referred pain” – meaning, the pain you feel is often not in the location of your trigger point until you press on it. As an example, you may feel pain behind the eye, but the trigger point may actually be in the base of your neck. (For over 260 Pain Map Illustrations, you may want to purchase Tiger Tail’s Self-Help Guide to Happy Muscles.)
Muscle knots in the neck can also cause jaw pain, tooth pain, TMJ symptoms, and pain within the ear. Muscle knots in the muscle responsible for shrugging the shoulders or bringing the shoulders towards the ear, the upper Trapezius, can create a “question mark” headache pattern around the ear.
You may have a stiff and achy neck, headaches, cheek pain, pain around the eye, neck pain at the base of the neck, pain on top or at the back of the head. All of these can be caused by sleeping with the head turned causing stretched neck and shoulder muscles, sleeping on the stomach, inadequate head support while reading in bed, elevated shoulders, forward head posture or even stress.
Common Conditions Relating to Head & Neck Knot Pain:
- Stiff neck
- Cheek pain
- Pain around the eye
- Neck pain at base of the neck
- Pain on top of the head
- Pain at the back of the head
- Jaw pain
- Ear pain
Tips for Happier Muscles:
- Locate the muscle knot by applying pressure to the area causing pain. A muscle knot can be actively painful, or you might not even know it exists until you put pressure on it.
- Rub the muscle knot to allow blood and oxygen to circulate freely to that muscle area.
- Find the right pressure. When you press on a muscle knot with just the “right amount of pressure”, it can make you laugh and cry at the same time because it can “hurt so good”. Pressing too hard, however, can make you cry for mercy!
- If you gently rub the muscle knot you may feel tenderness in both the muscle and the muscle knot. Sometimes, the referred pain symptoms are able to be reproduced when pressure is applied to the muscle knot.