The sternocleidomastoid (SCM) is a large muscle that lies in front and to the side of the neck. It attaches to the sternum (sterno) and the clavicle (cleido) just below the bump of the ear (mastoid).
Its function is to tilt and turn your head to the side and to control the backward and forward motion of the head.
The trigger point anatomy is shown below. There are 4 trigger points along the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), you might have more or less. The size and the intensity of the trigger points are individual to you and trigger point diagrams are to be used as a guide to help you discover your body.
Sports such as tennis, wrestling, cycling (race), volleyball, swimming, billiards, golf, skiing/snowboarding, yoga, and football will cause you to get trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid (SCM). Combining speed and forces repeatedly will definitely cause issues now or in the future.
Daily activities of looking at a computer/tv off to the side, looking a downward at a cell phone, tablet, or laptop will add to the stress placed on the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle.
Like the levator scapulae and trapezius, this muscle is frequently overloaded.
Add to that, poor posture and diet, which expediates issues/pain in the neck area.
The pain commonly associated with sternocleidomastoid (SCM) trigger points is to the forehead and not to the neck. The case study symptoms range from eye and tongue pain when swallowing, balance problems, nausea, visual issues and headaches over the eye region.
To find the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle, turn your head to the right and drop your left ear to the left shoulder and you’ll see the muscle on the left become more visible.
Manual therapy or trigger point therapy is easy to do on the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) using your hands. Since the muscle is very superficial and visible. The pinch method works well by taking your index finger and thumb to pinch and massage the length of the muscle.
Be careful, since the repetitive use of your finger can cause joint damage, the TP BuddieRx was designed as a finger and self-massage aid to prevent that.
Take your right hand and feel along the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) to get a sense of where it is, the size, and notice any trigger points or muscle knots along the length of it.
The correct hand placement for the TP BuddieRx to release the left sternocleidomastoid (SCM) is to place your right-hand on S2. Place the left-hand on the C-curve and position it over the SCM.
If you don’t know where the trigger points are located you can simply run the acupoint of the C-curve over the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) starting from the sternum all the way up to the bump of the ear, or mastoid.
There will be sore spots or trigger points. When you feel one, switch to your hand to gauge what the body is telling you. When you feel it, the muscle will tell you if it is a muscle knot, just a temporary unreleased contraction of a muscle or a trigger point, one that is referring pain to other parts.
Stretching after completing any manual therapy or trigger point work on muscles with knots.
Also, balance out both sides of the SCM even if you only think you have trigger points on one side.
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