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SCM muscle causing headaches

SCM muscle causing headaches

SCM muscle causing headaches. The next muscle to be discussed is the SCM -Sternocleidomastoid muscle. We will have a look in how this muscle can cause a headache and how a chiropractor can treat this relevant muscle. This is a big cause in headaches…


SCM muscle causing headaches. The muscle originates at the base of the scull on the temporal bone and inserts at the sternum and clavicle. The nerve that innervates this muscle is the spinal accessory nerve. The muscle is responsible for the following actions: Rotation of head, lateral flexion, can also help with neck flexion and head extension.

Common Injuries – SCM muscle causing headaches.:

 This muscle is commonly injured in a car accident – “whiplash” injury. This is the most common cause that a Chiropractor treat. This injury can take time to heal because it is under constant stress, when we sitting behind a computer etc. Another common way to injure this muscle is to watch tennis, lift your head from a pillow and heavy breathing (This muscle is classified as an accessory breathing muscle).

Pain pattern – Headache:

 The pattern of the headache you can see below. The pain can be felt in the base of the scull, and above the eyes. The referred pain in this muscle can cause a misdiagnosis of tension headache. Pain in the upper part of the muscle can cause balance problems.

SCM referral pain

How a chiropractor can treat this SCM muscle causing headaches.:

Typically a Chiropractor will do an array of soft tissue work (muscle work) that includes, massage, myofascial dry needling (wrongly referred asAcupuncture), kinesio taping (RockTape) 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

If you suffer from headaches, contact us or make an appointment to see your chiropractor.

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