National Associaltion of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists - Symptom Checker

Splenius Cervicis
This is the technical name of the muscle being described.  This name may be used to find additional information in any medical resource.

Splenius Capitis
Splenius Cervicis

A group of muscles generally denotes muscles of the same function and may share a common attachment point. Neck Extensors and Rotators
Muscle function, in this definition, is what the muscle could do if it was to contract by itself with the body in anatomical position.  This is a general definition of muscle function.  For more information on how muscles work together on the body please refer to a physiology or functional anatomy text.

When these muscles work together the extend the head and neck.  When working individually they function to rotate the head and neck to turn the face to the same side.

A description of where a Myofascial Trigger Point may produce pain in the body.  This area is generally located away from the trigger point.

The splenius capitis refers pain primarily to the vertex (top) of the head on the same side and is a common generator of headaches.
The splenius cervicis refers diffuse pain through the head that will focus behind the eye on the same side.  This muscle may also refer pain to the base of the neck.

A description of the symptoms a person may experience with trigger points in the muscle being described.

A person with TrPs in the splenius capitis may complain of pain
around the vertex of the head.

A person with TrPs in the splenius cervicis may complain of pain in the neck, cranium, and eye.  They may also complain of a stiff neck that is limited by pain.  TrPs in the upper splenius cervicis may refer pain to the orbit (eye socket) and blurring of vision.


 A list of possible diseases that fit the information derived from examination of a patient.

  1. TrPs in other muscles, such as the semispinalis cervicis, suboccipitals, levator scapulae, sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezuis, temporalis, and deep masseter.
  2. C2 articular dysfunction.
  3. Whiplash injury.

A list of activities or positions that may either CAUSE a trigger point to manifest or PROLONG a pain condition respectively.

  1. Working at a desk with the head turned to one side and projected forward.
  2. Bird watching through binoculars while seated in a poor position that causes the neck to protrude forward.
  3. Falling asleep with the head in a bent position as with the head on the armrest of a sofa with no pillow.
  4. Cold draft.
  5. Motor vehicle accident especially if the head and neck are rotated upon impact.
  6. Pulling or lifting excessive weight.

A corrective action is usually a modification of daily routine which will reduce stress on the affected muscle(s) in a person with myofascial trigger points.

  1. A person should take proper measures to sustain erect posture and keeping the head and neck straight.
  2. Have walking cane properly fitted to avoid stress on neck musculature.
  3. Maintain strict ergonomics if majority of time is spent at the work station.
  4. When working out, care should be taken when pulling excessive weight.
  5. Use a scarf to keep the neck warm in cold climates or in places prone to drafts, including airplanes.

References : 
Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, vol 1, 2nd Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.

Travell JG, Simons DG, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, vol 2. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1992.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  A proper diagnosis should be sought from a licensed health care provider.