A stiff and achy neck may be a muscle knot in the Trapezius, a large muscle bundle that extends from the back of the head and neck to the shoulder.
You may have a stiff and achy neck, headaches, cheek pain, pain around the eye, neck pain at the base of the neck, pain on top or at the back of the head. All of these can be caused by sleeping with the head turned causing stretched neck and shoulder muscles, sleeping on the stomach, inadequate head support while reading in bed, elevated shoulders, forward head posture or even stress.
Sleeping with the head to one side or even stress can create head pain from the Suboccipital, a group of muscles at the base of the skull.
Pain around the eye, jaw or tooth pain may originate from the Temporalis, a group of muscles located on each side of the head, at the temples.
Pain on the side of the neck is often connected to tightness in the Lower Splenius Cervicis, a muscle in the back of the neck.
Pain at the back of the head may be caused by the Semispinalis Cervicis, the largest muscle mass located in the back of the neck, running through the upper six thoracic vertebrae.
COMMON CONDITIONS RELATING TO HEAD & NECK KNOT PAIN:
- Headaches Stiff neck
- Cheek pain Pain around the eye
- Neck pain at base of the neck
- Pain on top of the head
- Pain at the back of the head
- Jaw pain
- Ear pain
TIPS FOR HAPPIER MUSCLES:
- Locate the muscle knot by applying pressure to the area causing pain. A muscle knot can be actively painful, or you might not even know it exists until you put pressure on it.
- Rub the muscle knot to allow blood and oxygen to circulate freely to that muscle area.
- Find the right pressure. When you press on a muscle knot with just the “right amount of pressure”, it can make you laugh and cry at the same time because it can “hurt so good”. Pressing too hard, however, can make you cry for mercy!
- If you gently rub the muscle knot you may feel tenderness in both the muscle and the muscle knot. Sometimes, the referred pain symptoms are able to be reproduced when pressure is applied to the muscle knot.