Home » Massage Therapy Continuing Education » Head & Neck » Head bones and Tension Headaches
  • Head bones and Tension Headaches

    In the past, I have written a lot about the neck and why it is important to release the anterior neck to decrease tension in the suboccipital muscles. This time I would like to talk to you about why you want to take a class on working with the head. The relationship between the individual bones in the head has a tremendous amount to do with neck tension and headaches. For example, the occiput, a bone that we should be thinking about when working with people who have neck tension and/or suboccipital headaches, articulates directly with several other bones in the head. Through the occipitomastoid suture, the position of the occiput on the atlas is influenced by the position of the temporal bones, which are influenced by the position of the following bones: mandible at the temporomandibular joint; parietal bones at the squamosal suture; zygomatic bones at the temporozygomatic suture; and the sphenoid at the sphenosquamous suture.

    The occiput is also directly affected by its articulation with the parietal bones through the lambdoid sutures. The parietal bones are then affected by the position of all the bones they articulate with, which include the temporal bones, the sphenoid, and the frontal bone. The final direct articulate of the occiput is with the sphenoid at the sphenobasilar joint, which is not a suture. The sphenobasilar joint, a synchondrosis joint, is actually a cartilaginous joint. This classification means it has a fair amount of movement when compared to sutures. The position of the sphenoid could be influenced by almost any other bone in the head, as it articulates with almost every bone in the head.

    When teaching Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique for the head our goal is to alleviate tension in the connective tissues at the sutures to create as much space as possible. In doing this we are able to help the occiput sit level on the atlas, which decreases neck tension and suboccipital headaches, as well as temporal headaches and orbital headaches. It is as important to effectively work with the head as it is to work with the neck. I have used this in 3 sessions this week with tremendous results. I would love to teach you to do this fantastic work. Register for an SMRT: Head & Neck class in Seattle, WA on July 24th and 25th, or in Chapel Hill, NC on October 23rd and 24th. All dates are for 2015. Register by going to https://efullcircle.com/workshop-schedule/