Sub occipital trigger point pain referral pattern symptoms and prevention.

Onelove healing arts monthly newsletter

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why” ~ Motivationping.com

This month as we continue our discussion of trigger point referral patterns we will direct our attention to…

The suboccipital’s



The suboccipital are a group of small tiny muscles on the back, posterior portion of the head, at the base of the skull. These tiny muscles are often the host of tremendous amount of tension that lead to Knotts and triggerpoints. Tension and fatigue in these muscles is particularly common because their job is to hold the skull upright, and as we are in our culture or regularly and continuously looking down at our cell phones or computers this tiny muscles do a lot of work to hold her head up.

I learned from one of my teachers in school that every inch that we tilt our heads forward from a vertical orientation adds an additional 15 pounds of pressure on to these muscles.

As these muscles accumulate tension, and that tension develops into trigger points, it can lead to headache symptoms all over the head. below is a picture of some of these common referral patterns.



One exercise that can be practiced to decompress the tension that is accumulated in the sub occipital muscles is to practice alternating protracting and retracting of the cranium Iniesta move forward and backward gliding motion. This will help to pump blood into these muscles and stretch them. The picture below shows a woman protracting (moving forward) and retracting (moving backwards) her neck.



Check out this video for a simple neck gliding exercise!


Health is a daily habit, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this article and learn a little bit more about things you can do to promote your daily health. Keep your chin up this week, and take breaks from your computer every 30 minutes and just walk up and down your hallway. And periodically try practicing this forward and backward gliding motion to loosen up the muscles in the base of your skull.


I hope you’re having a great start to your week and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Benjamin J. Onelove, LMT, BCTM

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