If you have a diagnosis of a simple muscle spasm from stress, fibromyalgia or minimally involved neck arthritis, you can feel safe following these techniques.
Problems in the spinal column in the neck area typically show up as severe muscle spasms from the side of the neck to the tip of the shoulder with the most sensitive areas (trigger points) a couple inches away from the spinal column.
However, on the back of the head there is a ridge called the occiput (or occipital ridge) where several of the neck muscles attach. This is an area that therapists concentrate on as it can be very tender. When massaging the occipital area, use a gentle low number setting and massage directly below the occipital. When the muscles attached to the occiput are tight and in spasm, you can get “occipital headaches” (or more commonly tension headaches) which are felt over the top of the head. The best technique involves the trigger points of the neck muscles as well as occipital treatment.
Duration: This can be done several times a day for 10-15 minutes until comfort is achieved.