Cause of pain in the sides of the neck and how to treat it
STEP 1: How to Locate the Sternocleido Mastoid Trigger Point #One
The Sternocleidomastoid muscle (commonly abbreviated as SCM), is a paired muscle in the side of the neck. It is one of the largest and most superficial cervical/neck muscles. The primary actions of this muscle are the rotation of the head and the flexion of the neck.The Sternocleidomastoid arises from two bones: the sternum, called the Sternal Head, and the clavicle or collarbone, called the Clavicular Head. This muscle is attached to a bony prominence behind the ear called the mastoid. Locate the mastoid and place a hand on your neck, turning your neck to the side. You will see a muscle become prominent; indeed, the entire length of the muscle is usually visible. This is the Sternocleidomastoid. It is a very commonly overworked muscle, usually causing pain behind the ear, headaches in the front and back of the head, including migraines and other pains. Feel for sensitive spots over the muscle; these are your trigger points.
STEP 2: How to Self-Release the Sternocleido Mastoid Trigger Point # One
Self-releasing the Sternocleidomastoid requires only your hand. If you are working on the right Sternocleidomastoid, turn your head in the opposing direction to expose the muscle, and vice versa. Using the fingers and thumb of your left hand, locate your trigger points. Next, hold the right Sternocleidomastoid in a pincer-like grasp, turning your head backward. This position should generate a characteristic frontal headache. Hold for 30 seconds and release.
STEP 3: How to Stretch the Sternocleido MastoidTrigger Point # One
To stretch the Sternocleidomastoid, turn your head to the side and slowly lift your chin. Place a hand over the forehead and pull to increase the stretch. You will feel the stretch at the back of the ear. Hold for 30 seconds and release. Alternatively, try turning your head to the side as much as you can. Place a hand over the chin to help push the head to the side and help with the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and release, remembering to stretch the other side.