The Frontalis Muscle

The occipitofrontalis is a muscle that covers much of the skull and is often referred to as the scalp muscle. The muscle has two bellies (parts) the frontalis and the occipitalis which are connected by the epicranial aponeurosis a large swath of connective tissue.

The frontalis is the part of the muscle that covers the forehead. Trigger points in the muscle can cause an aching pain across the forehead and can contribute to eyestrain.

Contents of Article

Trigger Point Symptoms 

Muscle Location

Trigger Points Cause

Trigger Point Treatment

Interesting Facts 

Clinical Diagnoses

Muscles With Similar Pain Patterns

What pain and symptoms are associated with the frontalis muscle?

The frontalis covers the forehead and trigger points in the muscle cause that aching pain that runs across the forehead. Frontalis trigger points do not refer pain, the pain remains localized.

Trigger points in the muscle as well as stress can contribute to eyestrain. If you are experiencing pain behind the eye then you should check the occipitalis or the trapezius muscles.

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Where is the frontalis muscle located?

The frontalis is a facial muscle found in the forehead. It attaches to the epicranial aponeurosis and connects to the skin over the eyebrow and the orbicularis oculi muscle.

What movements does the frontalis muscle control?

  • Wrinkles the skin of the forehead
  • Elevates the eyebrows

For detailed anatomy information: Frontalis Muscle Anatomy


What Causes Trigger Points In the Frontalis

Eye strain is one of the biggest reasons that trigger points develop in the frontalis muscle. The constant squinting or opening the eyes wide to try to focus the eyes put a tremendous workload on the muscle.

If you have a habit raising the eyebrows or squinting the eyes this too will stress the frontalis. Try to limit these habits.


The Huggaroo Neck Wrap is a large wrap that will treat neck, upper shoulder, and upper back muscle pain. It can be used cold for injury and swelling or warmed for deep penetrating moist heat. Highly recommended for treatments and just to relax!

TWD Recommends:

I use and often recommend the Neck King Massage Tool For Neck and Back Pain 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.

Frontalis Trigger Point Treatment

Frontalis trigger points are easily treated. Place your fingertips at the top of the eyebrows using medium pressure rub up into the hairline. If you feel a small knot or tight band of muscle, stop and apply pressure for 10 seconds, then continue massaging upward. Do not apply pressure for more than 10 seconds as this can do more harm than good. Instead, do several treatments throughout the day until the knot can no longer be felt and the pain and tenderness around the area are gone.

TWD Suggests: Do You Have Tension Headaches With Tired Aching Eyes?

The frontalis muscle not only contributes to aching across the forehead but can also cause your eyes to feel achy and tired.
The best way to relieve this is to sit back or lay down in a darkened room and close your eyes and rest. The Huggaroo Warm/Cold Wrap can hasten that relief. Use it warm to relieve head pain and chilled for tired achy eyes. It also works well for sinus discomfort, earaches, and jaw pain.

Interesting Facts About The Frontalis

  • Exaggerated facial expressions such as frowning, opening the eyes wide, and raising the eyebrows frequently can stress the muscle.
  • Contributes to the deep wrinkles across the forehead.
TWD Recommends:

The Craniocradle was developed to treat headaches and stiff necks. The cradle applies pressure to the muscles while providing gentle traction to the neck. Use for 5-10 minutes and feel a reduction in pain and stress. The cradle can also be used for treatment on other areas including the low back and hip area. Instructions are provided.

Clinical diagnoses to which the frontalis muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Tension headaches
  • Migraine headaches
  • Persistent eye strain
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the frontalis:

Satellite trigger points associated with the frontalis muscle:

If you find trigger points in the muscle you will want to check this muscle for additional trigger points.

  • Sternocleidomastoid (clavicular head)

Other Muscles With Similar Pain Patterns

Occipitalis Muscle


Sternocleidomastoid Muscle

Donna Martin

Massage Therapist Owner: Twelve years of experience working with clients with chronic pain, post injury pain, and post surgery pain. Muscle dysfunction is often overlooked but can hold the key to many pain conditions.

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