Muscles that cause headaches - Splenius
The second last muscle in the series on the muscles that cause headaches- Splenius muscle. This muscle actually has 2 parts to it namely Capitis and Cervicis. Both of these headaches will be discussed below and you will see why this gives you headaches and how a chiropractor can treat this muscle.
Anatomy of the Splenius Muscles:
The Splenius muscle has got 2 parts to it:
1) Splenius Capitis
This muscle originates on the spinous process of C3-T4 and it inserts onto the mastoid process of the temporal bone. Furthermore, this muscle forms a “V” shape in the back of the neck. Also, It is innervated by the cervical spinal nerves. The action of this muscle is responsible to rotate and lateral flex the head and the neck.
2) Splenius Cervicis
This part of the muscle originates on the spinous process of T3 to T6 and then inserts onto the transverse process of C1-C3. It is also innervated by the cervical spinal nerves. Therefore, the splenius muscle is responsible to rotate and lateral flex the neck.
The Splenius muscle is normally strained by repetitive trauma from work/posture siting at a computer, working with a mouse, cradling a phone with the one shoulder, excess stress causing by upper back tension and lastly, whiplash.
This muscle typically refers pain over the back side of the neck, above the ear and at the top of the head. The pain that is referred to the top of the head is something we as chiropractors see in headache patients.
How a chiropractor can treat this muscle:
Typically a Chiropractor will do an array of soft tissue work (muscle work) that includes, massage, myofascial dry needling (wrongly referred as Acupuncture), kinesio taping (RockTape), Ultrasound and even Fascia “release”.
A Chiropractic adjustment will be delivered to the affected neck vertebrae to “reset” the body system and try to get homeostasis.
Home treatment includes:
Ice or Heat therapy – Click here for a blog on Ice therapy, but heat therapy can work just as well