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Longissimus Capitis Muscle: Head, Ear, Eye and Neck Pain

Referred pain pattern of the longissimus capitis

Pain in and around the ear that sometimes extends up toward the eye is a sign of longissimus capitis dysfunction.

  • Pain behind and/or just beneath the ear
  • Pain sometimes is felt slightly down the neck and behind the eyes
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness in the back of the head and neck
  • Numbness and/or tingling in the scalp

Where is the longissimus capitis muscle?

The longissimus capitis is a muscle found deep in the neck and upper back. It connects the upper back vertebrae (T1-T5) and neck vertebre (C4-C7) to the bottom of the skull (mastoid process of the temporal bone).

What movements does the longissimus capitis muscle control?

  • Straightens (extends) the neck and head
  • Turns (rotates) neck and head

Activities that cause longissimus capitis pain and symptoms:

  • Tension headaches
  • Cluster headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Prolapsed disc
  • Intervertebral or Vertebral stenosis
  • Vertebral vascular disorder
  • Cervical spine hyperlordosis
  • Military neck
  • Thoracic spine hyperkyphosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Spasmodic Torticollis (Wryneck Syndrome)
  • Eye Strain
  • Ocular disease
  • Mastoiditis
Longissimus Capitis is a muscle found in the upper back and neck

You use the longissimus capitis muscle to tilt your head up, straighten your head and neck, and bend your head side to side.

Clinical diagnoses to which the longissimus capitis muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Ganglion cyst

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the Longissimus capitis muscle:

Satellite Trigger Points: Trapezius, Digastric, Infraspinatus

For detailed anatomy information see: Longissimus Capitis Anatomy


Help with Longissimus Capitis Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel To Relieve Neck Pain From Recent Injury

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  It is better to use than warm therapy gels and creams for muscle pain caused by inflammation as it cools the area much like ice. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. Biofreeze  is recommended for those who have had a recent neck injury or sudden onset pain. Highly recommended for early treatment of whiplash.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury

Recommended Cold and Heat Wrap for Neck and Shoulders

Elasto-Gel Cervical Collar can be used for heat or cold therapy for the neck and upper shoulder area. This is a great wrap to use with the longissimus capitis as it covers the muscle. Use cold therapy for new and recent injury or sudden onset pain. Use  heat therapy for injuries at least 2 days old and chronic pain caused by old injury and tight muscles. I recommend this because it conforms to the contours of your body and is well made to last for years.

elasto-gel-collar

Warm Therapy Gel To Relax Tight Muscles and Relieve Chronic Neck Pain From Old Injuries

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat and is great for relieving pain. Applying Sombra to the back of the neck, up behind the ears and along the base of the skull can reduce tension and pain caused by the longissimus capitis muscle. I recommend using Sombra for old injuries and chronic pain, not for recent injury or sudden onset pain.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.

Hot Cold Cervical Roll For Headaches and Neck Pain

Elasto-Gel Cervical Roll will help with semispinalis capitis muscle pain by providing support and pressure to the muscle. The roll can be used chilled for headaches and injuries or can be heated for muscle relaxation. For best results, postion the roll at the base of the skull.

cervical-roll-sm

Tool For Headaches, Neck, and Upper Back Pain

I use and often recommend the Neck King Massage Tool For Neck and Back to my clients who suffer from headaches, migraines and stiff necks.  The Neck King works on trigger points and pressure points to help relieve muscle tension and pain. The secret to using the Neck King is to follow the directions carefully and to slowly build up the time spent using the tool. For many first time users, the tool is too hard to use comfortably. Folding a hand towel and laying it over the Neck King will help ease the discomfort.  This tool has helped me as well as many of my clients relieve headaches, sore stiff necks and upper back strain.

neck-king_sm

Trigger Point Self-Treatment For Head and Neck Pain

Do you know that small “knots” and other dysfunction in the Longissimus Capitis muscle can cause pain around the ears and eyes as well as pain, tingling and numbness in the scalp?

When I recommend trigger point tools such as the Neck King (see above) to my clients I always recommend that they also purchase Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain,  how to find the trigger point and treat it. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. If you suffer from unresolved headaches and migraines I highly recommend this book. Relieving trigger points in various head and neck muscles have helped many people resolve head and neck pain issues. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.

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