Relieve Pain In Top Of Head

Pain in top of the head, like most other headaches, can be the result of excessive tension and trigger points in the muscles of your head and neck. As you can lower this tension yourself with massage, relief is literally right at your fingertips.


Your Self-Massage Of...

... The Sternocleidomastoid

... The Splenius Capitis

Your Self Assessment

I will guide you step by step through the massage of the muscles that can cause the pain on top of your head. This will take you only a couple of minutes and afterwards you might know how to fix your pain.

So, even if you don't know if self-massage is the right thing for you, it's still worth giving it a try. Anyway, the muscles you need to check here are very easy to palpate and massage, and the small investment of your time might be rewarded with the power to get yourself out of pain.

Relieve Pain In Top Of Head: Your Self-Massage

The muscles that you have to check are located at the side and back of your neck, and are called sternocleidomastoid and splenius capitis. Please don't be intimidated by those latin names as they aren't that important for you anyway. Still, for the sake of completeness I want to mention them.

Before we finally get started, some important upfront information about your massage.

Massage yourself on a daily basis until your top of head pain is gone. If your muscles are very tight, the massage itself will be probably pretty painful. Still, as you are doing it yourself, you are always in total control. On a pain scale ranging from 1 – 10, aim at a pain level between 4 – 7.

In case your muscles are afflicted with trigger points, it is possible that pressing in them creates or even aggravates YOUR pain transiently.

This is surely annoying but actually nothing bad as it just shows you that you are working the right spot. So give yourself a pat on the back for this one and be a bit gentle with your “massage pressure”.

Relive Pain In Top Of Head: Self-Massage Of The Sternocleidomastoid

This muscle consists of two parts and muscle bellies, respectively. As for you there will be only one part of relevance, I won't describe the whole muscle in detail. What you have to know though, is that we are talking about the prominent muscle at the side of your neck that runs from your chest and collar bone to the upper back of your neck.

Trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid can elicit pain in the top of the head!

To feel the muscle, place one or two fingers on your chest bone and try to feel the sternocleidomastoid's tendon inserting at this spot. Only about 2 – 3 centimeters higher you will be able to feel the muscle itself. From there you can palpate it nicely all the way up to the base of your skull.

While you feel the muscle, roll it between your fingers and notice any tender points. If it is overly tight, this can be already very painful and uncomfortable. But don't stop because of that. Rather apply a little less pressure. Tenderness in a muscle is a sign of muscular dysfunction and that it needs to be released.

Use the thumb-index-finger-technique and roll every tender spot for about 10 times between your fingers. At the beginning this might be too painful, so it is OK to start out with only 5 “rolling movements”. Within the next days and weeks your pain will get less and less and the massage will become more comfortable.

Insertion Of The SCM Tendon

SCM Self-Massage

Thoroughly inspect this muscle and make sure that over time you massage ALL its tender spots.

Note: If you feel a pulse under your fingers, you hit your carotid artery. Just let go of the muscle and then grab it again, but this time without the artery.

Relieve Pain In Top Of Head: Self-Massage Of The Splenius Capitis

This muscle is slightly harder to locate than your sternocleidomastoid. But it is still absolutely doable. I will show you right now how to feel it.

The splenius capitis and its trigger points are the main troublemakers when it comes to top of head pain!

Place one finger at the upper end of your sternocleidomastoid and then turn your head slowly to the opposite site and feel it contracting at the end of the motion. Now slide with your finger maybe one centimeter towards your cervical spine, until you feel a small well. Now rotate your head again to the other side. As soon as you reach a rotation of 45° and more on, you can feel the splenius capitis contracting under your finger.

In The Well Next To The SCM

Feeling The Splenius Capitis

From there you can follow its course a couple of centimeters downwards until it gets covered by other muscles of your neck. Massage the splenius capitis with the thumb-technique or the press and move massage.

With the thumb-technique, execute 15 strokes from short before till short after a tender area.

For the press and move massage, press with 1 – 3 fingers in the muscle and then do about 20 very slow “yes-motions”. Especially when you lower your chin towards your chest, you will be able to notice excessive tension in this muscle. Primarily focus on these painful sections of the movement as they are the ones that are responsible for the pain in top of your head.

Self-Massage With Thumb-Technique

Self-Massage With Press & Move Technique

Your Self Assessment For A Successful Relief From Pain In Top Of The Head

Try to find out where in your muscles the most painful spots are located and focus your massage on them. Maybe you even found some points that elicited exactly YOUR top of head pain when you pressed on them. That's even better because it's a sign that you found the trouble-making spots.

Also experiment with the frequency of your massage. Especially in the beginning the muscles can be a little bit sore afterwards and you might feel that an additional round would do you no good. If that's so, listen to your gut feeling!

In a nutshell, stick to the things that show results and dump the rest.

If you have any issues using this site, please let me know. If I can, I will be more than happy to help you!

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