The most common trigger point that develops is the upper trapezius trigger point.   Forward head posture is a major contributor to the development of this trigger point.   The referral pattern is pain in the side and back of the neck, behind the ear and up into the temple.  The referral resembles a question mark.

We are all under stress at certain times of our day and our lives.  When stress occurs, without even knowing what we are doing, we will shrug our shoulders up and wear them like earrings.   When we do this, we create tension in the muscles which then causes trigger points to develop.

Other forms of stress placed on this muscle occur by:

  • holding a phone between your ear and shoulder
  • putting a heavy purse over the shoulder to carry
  • using backpacks
  • holding a child on the hip with one arm
  • sleeping with an arm under your head
  • looking at a computer monitor that is located at your right or left, for extended periods of time
  • no arm rests at your chair when working on a computer
  • extended activities overhead
  • bike riding
  • horseback riding
  • playing an instrument that requires you to elevate your shoulders such as a violin