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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 the Tiger Tail 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 A stiff and achy neck may be a muscle knot in the Trapezius, a large muscle bundle that extends from the back of the head and neck to the shoulder.A stiff and achy neck may be a muscle knot in the Trapezius, a large muscle bundle that extends from the back of the head and neck to the shoulder.
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.

Sleeping with the head to one side or even stress can create head pain from the Suboccipital, a group of muscles at the base of the skull.

Pain around the eye, jaw or tooth pain may originate from the Temporalis, a group of muscles located on each side of the head, at the temples.

Pain on the side of the neck is often connected to tightness in the Lower Splenius Cervicis, a muscle in the back of the neck.

Pain at the back of the head may be caused by the Semispinalis Cervicis, the largest muscle mass located in the back of the neck, running through the upper six thoracic vertebrae.

Common Conditions Relating to Head & Neck Knot Pain:
  • Headaches
  • 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.




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