The SCM Muscle in the Neck, it doesn’t Typically Cause Neck Pain, But can cause a Slew of Neck Related Problems!
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:00pm
To start off, the SCM muscle is actually named the sternocleidomastoid muscle. This muscle is responsible for specific neck and head motions and is split into two parts. The interesting thing is that neither part sends pain to the neck, however, it can often cause jaw pain or pain that travels up into the head. Besides headache-like pain and pain in the cheek or jaw region, it has also been linked to eye disturbances, sinus problems, inner ear problems, and even dizziness.
One of the reasons for these various symptoms is because of the attachment to the mastoid process which is that bump like area behind the ear. Strain to that region is directly connected to the ear which attaches to the sinuses and eyes also.
The SCM specifically attaches from behind the ear on the skull (mastoid process) down to the clavicle and down to the top of the sternum. This is the two parts of the muscle I described.
A tip to help relieve pressure in the SCM are to grab the muscle and/or trigger points with a pincher-type grip along the muscle, holding for 7-10 seconds at different spots along the muscle. This will help break up any knots or trigger points and help relax the muscle. Remember, the sternocliedomastoid travels from behind the ear to the top of your chest essentially so you should be able to do this with either hand.