Could This Shoulder Muscle Be The Reason For Your Headaches?

May 8th, 2020
Shoulder Muscle

Headaches are one of the most frequent pains that we all share in common. It is well known that trigger points on the upper trapezius may refer pain into the temple area resulting in headaches.

Trigger points in the Upper Trapezius (black circles) may refer in the “Ram’s Horn” pattern shown in the image above.

About the Trapezius

The trapezius is one of the largest upper back and shoulder muscles. It is a triangular muscle that runs from the occipital bone in the skull to the thoracic spine in the back. The upper fibers (upper trapezius) are responsible for elevating the shoulder blade or “shrugging”.

Common Causes of Upper Trapezius Trigger Points

  • Poor posture while sitting/driving for long periods of time.
  • Lifting heavy objects such as bags, purses, etc with improper mechanics.
  • Overuse from repetitive activities that involve shoulder muscles.
  • Stress can cause people to tense their neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Trauma to the upper trapezius from a fall or blow.

Symptoms of Upper Trapezius Trigger Points

  • Headaches 
  • Severe neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Intolerance to weight on shoulders
  • Facial, temple, or jaw pain

If headaches, neck stiffness, and shoulder tension are limiting you from your daily activities, call Respire Physical Therapy at 703-671-1871 to schedule an evaluation today!

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