Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Self-Myofascial Release of the SCM

The SCM is an interesting muscle for many reasons. It can be a frequent contributor to muscle tension headaches, which is the primary reason I would include direct needling to this muscle. However, there are many other conditions that would lead me to include this muscle in treatment, such as positional vertigo, ear pain or ear stuffiness, and atypical facial pain.

I authored a post that that appears on the Sports Medicine Acupuncture (SMA) blog for July, 2020. This post features more specific information about the SCM muscle, along with information regarding its channel correspondences which will help the acupuncturists when putting together a comprehensive point prescription. Also, there is a video with demonstration of needling for the SCM muscle.

Below is a video that features a self-myofascial release technique for the SCM muscle. This is a pin a stretch technique which can be taught to patients following treatment. This muscle, when locked-short, frequently responds well to further intervention and it can be helpful for patients to perform the technique between treatments. Make sure that you are comfortable with this technique yourself. The pressure is not excessive and you are medial to the carotid artery, so this should not be a problem if the technique is performed correctly. However, you would want to make sure that patients know where the fingers are placed and that they stay on the muscle during the movement.

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