resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
July, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 07
Frontal Headaches and Myofascial Trigger Points
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
A fundamental key to treating the muscular component of most pain, regardless of the modalities and techniques you specialize in, is to know which muscles to treat based on the location of the patient's pain.This article will review the five muscles that produce frontal headache pain based on the research of Drs. Travell and Simons', the common location of the trigger points in each of those muscles and their referral pain patterns. The muscles are: Sternocleidomastoid (clavicular head), Sternocleidomastoid (sternal head), Semispinalis capitis, Frontalis and Zygomaticus Major.
Most forms of bodywork treat trigger points. When you stimulate a trigger point during treatment, it can produce referred pain to other areas of the body. For example, trigger points in the Sternocleidomastoid muscle, located in the front of the neck, can refer pain into the forehead (Photo 2). It is important that each patient understands that you are not pressing on a nerve when treating a trigger point. Using visual aids like trigger point charts, provide multiple advantages. They educate your patients, provide you with a quick review of the trigger points and help you customize a logical treatment plan. This type of visual education also uniquely sets your practice apart from the competition. Trigger point charts are available in travel flip size or wall versions. Read Headaches: Trigger Points and Practice Building (MT, August 2010) and Practice Building: Getting Inside Your Patient's Head (MT, January 2011).
Let patients know how your charts work. For example, in photo 1 "X" indicates the common location of trigger points within a muscle. When a trigger point is activated during treatment, it will produce referred pain, which is shown in red. Solid red areas indicate an essential pain zone or area of pain experienced by nearly every patient that had that trigger point activated. The red dots indicate spillover pain zones. These are areas of pain experienced by some, but not all, patients outside of the essential pain zones. (Photo 1)
Each division or muscle belly of the sternocleidomastoid muscle has its own unique trigger point patterns. Typically, neither division refers pain into the neck, however each refers pain to the face and cranium. (Photo 1 & 2) This muscle is shortened bilaterally with a forward head posture. The claviclar division will be shortened on the high shoulder side.
Trigger points at the midlevel of the sternal division of sternocliedmastoid refer pain in an arch over the eye into the forehead, deep behind the eye and into the cheek. (Photo 1)
Trigger points at the upper end of the sternal division commonly refer pain to the occipital ridge and to the top of the head (vertex). Attachment trigger points at the lower end of the sternal division can refer into the upper chest.
Trigger points in the mid level of the clavicular division of sternocliedmastoid refer pain to the forehead. On rare occasion, the pain extends across the forehead. (Photo 2) Trigger points in the upper portion of the muscle refer into the ear and posterior to the ear.
The semispinalis capitis and other posterior neck muscles sustain enormous tension as patients maintain a forward head posture throughout their day while writing, reading, working at a computer, driving and maintaining poor posture.
There are two trigger points in the semispinalis capitis muscle that produce the same referral pattern. These trigger points project a band of pain forward that encircles one side of the head, with the intensity focusing in the temple region, then continuing to wrap around to the forehead. (Photo 3) Trigger points labeled Location 1 are found where the muscle attaches to the skull. Location 2 trigger points are located in the upper third of the muscle. Trigger points in the middle and lower portions of the muscle are shown as Location 3 and refer into the back of the head on the same side.
Trigger points form in the frontalis from direct trauma, over stress from prolonged intense frowning or wrinkling of the forehead. The referral pattern for the frontalis is local and spreads upward over the forehead. (Photo 4)
Next we will review key and satellite trigger points. A Key Myofascial Trigger Point is responsible for activating one or more satellite trigger points. It is clinically defined when an inactivated key trigger point results in the inactivation of the satellite trigger points. Satellite Myofascial Trigger Points can form for many reasons, one being in the pain referral zone of a Key Myofascial Trigger Point. Since satellite trigger points can form in the frontalis as a result of key trigger points, be sure to examine and inactivate key trigger points in the clavicular division of sternocliedmastoid (Photo 2) or the Zygomaticus major. (Photo 5)
When the zygomaticus major contracts, it makes us smile by pulling the corner of our mouth upward and laterally. Referred pain from zygomaticus major trigger points project along the side of the nose into the forehead. (Photo 5) Be sure to examine and inactivate key trigger points in muscles like the clavicular division of sternocliedmastoid that refer into the zygomaticus major region. (Photo 2)
Patients appreciate when you take a few minutes prior to the therapy session to educate them of the strategies you implement to identify and address the muscular components of their pain. Photos are powerful visual aids that leave a lasting impression in the patient's mind and help you to quickly deliver a clear message. The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" speaks volumes when conveying postural analysis findings. Trigger points are often within the myofascial tissues involved in the postural distortions.
Keep the postural analysis process fast and simple. Using the camera of a cell phone, you can take postural photos and instantly give a report of findings to your patients. An anterior view photo will easily pinpoint a high shoulder, while lateral view photos make it easy to show a forward head posture. (Photo 6) Photos allow patients to finally see and understand why they hurt and how you can help. Postural analysis photos are extremely effective even when patients are wearing shoes and/or loose fitting clothes. Read Getting Comfortable With Postural Analysis (MT, July 2008).
Using a postural analysis grid chart with a plumb line makes it easy for anyone looking at the photos to spot postural asymmetries. Pictures also are an excellent way to document change over time. After patients understand the postural stresses their muscles are enduring, they understand why you took the time to educate them.
Treating the muscular components of Frontal headaches is easy when you know which muscles to treat based on the research. The five muscles in this article should be checked, unless contraindicated, for frontal headaches. As always, based on the patients subjective complaints, your objective finding and other factors, you will design customized treatment plans that produce positive clinical outcomes. Stay in touch and I wish you great success in your treatment sessions.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.