Updated: Jun 9, 2019

The function of this muscle is to rotate the head to the opposite side or obliquely rotate the head. It also flexes the neck. When both sides of the muscle act together, it flexes the neck and extends the head. When one side acts alone, it causes the head to rotate to the opposite side and flexes laterally to the same side (ipsilaterally). It also acts as an accessory muscle of respiration, along with the scalene muscles of the neck.

Cause that perpetuate trigger points :

  • Activities Swimmers crawl stroke, prolonged looking up (Painting a ceiling) , horse riding/ handling, a tight neck collar or tie. high pillow, reading in bed with a lamp off to the side, breathing Improperly,

  • Other Muscles: Tight Pectoralis Muscle , Trapezuis, Masseter, Scalene , Splenius Capitis, Splenius Cericis, Cervical Multifidi, Semispinalis Cervicis, Semispinalis Capitis, Suboccipitals, Longissimus Capitis , Lavatorscapula, Sternalis , Temporalis , Orbicularis Oculi , Zygomaticus, Platsyma , Buccinator, Frontalis , Occipitalis

  • Suffering from any of the following whiplash,chronic cough, cold , flu , sinusitis , a dental abscess hangover headache or leakage of cerebrospinal fluid following a spinal tap.

  • Structural issues such as forward -head posture, injury that restricts upper-body movement forcing the neck to over compensate to keep balance such as severe scoliosis, anatomical leg-length inequality or unequal hemipelvis size.

The SCM has two parts to the muscle with there own referral patterns. The Sternal causes pain in the eyes and sinus , While the Calvicular causes pain in the forehead and ear.

The X's represent the Trigger Points apply pressure gently until your on the edge of "good" pain. The red shaded area is the referred pain caused by the Trigger Point and the darker red means more people experienced pain in that area.


  1. Position: Lying down on your back / or sitting down with back support.

  2. Tilt your head bring the ear closer to the shoulder and then slightly rotate your chin up

  3. Start at the lower X right hand pinches & pulls right side for up-to 60 seconds

  4. Left hand grabs the Right Middle X pinches & pulls outward for up-to 60 seconds

  5. Right hand works the Top X behind the ear this is the usually the tightest for most people and also the most critical to work on.


Side-Bending Neck Stretch

  1. Position: Lying down on your back with the hand of the side you are stretching under your butt. Your opposite hand over the top of your head.

  2. Pull your head gently toward your shoulder, then release and take a deep breath.

  3. Repeat with your head turned slightly toward the left and again toward the right.

  4. Stretch the opposite side following steps 1-3

  5. Repeat steps 1-4 three times

Scalene Stretch

  1. Position: Sitting up

  2. Rotate your head all the way to one side and bring your chin down. Hold for 5 seconds

  3. Return to the forward position and take a deep breath.

  4. Repeat on the opposite side

  5. Repeat 4 times in each direction


  • Back of Head Pain

  • Cheek Pain (like Sinusitis)

  • Dizziness When Turning Head or Changing Field of View

  • Double/Blurry/Jumpy Print Vision

  • Dry Cough

  • Ear Pain Earaches/Tinnitus (Ringing)/Itch

  • Feeling Continued Movement in Car After Stopping

  • Feeling Tilted When Cornering in Car

  • Front of Chest Pain

  • Frontal Headache

  • Headaches or Migraines

  • Post Nasal Drip

  • Runny Nose

  • Sore throat

  • Tearing/Reddening of Eye, Drooping of Eyelid

  • Temple and Eyebrow Pain

  • Temporal Headache (Temples)

  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain

  • Throat & Front of Neck Pain

  • Traveling Nocturnal Sinus Stuffiness

  • Vertex Pain

  • Visual Perception Problems