What is Longissimus Capitis and What is its Function?

Longissimus Capitis refers to a group of muscles present around the spine. The Longissimus Capitis is the longest of the muscles present in the sacrospinalis muscle group. Longissimus Capitis is situated laterally to the semispinalis and extends towards the back part of the cervical vertebrae. Longissimus Capitis muscle begins along the articular processes of the cervical vertebrae and the transverse processes of the thoracic vertebrae. It inserts behind the mastoid process which is located just behind the ear. Function of longissimus capitis muscle is to provide stability to the neck. Longissimus Capitis can get strained due to a blow to the head or neck region like when playing soccer, being assaulted, or during a motor vehicle crash. Working overhead for prolonged hours can also result in the strain of the Longissimus Capitis muscle. Stress also contributes to strain of the Longissimus Capitis muscle. Pain relief of Longissimus Capitis strain can be obtained by warm and cold therapy along with use of a neck massager.

Longissimus Capitis Strain

Signs and Symptoms of Longissimus Capitis Strain

Some of the symptoms of Longissimus Capitis Strain are:

  • Pain behind the ear which sometimes can also be felt behind the eyes
  • Headaches.
  • Tenderness in the back of the head and neck is one of the symptoms of longissimus capitis strain.
  • Scalp numbness or tingling.
  • Neck stiffness is also a common sign and symptom of longissimus capitis strain.

Causes of Longissimus Capitis Strain

Some of the activities that can cause longissimus capitis strain are:

An injury to the back of the head or neck like when playing contact sports like soccer, being assaulted and getting injured, or motor vehicle crash can cause longissimus capitis strain.

Wearing a cervical collar for prolonged periods of time can also result in a strained longissimus capitis muscle.

Stress also plays a key role in development of Longissimus Capitis Muscle strain.

Some of the medical condition to which Longissimus Capitis Strain is associated with are:

What is the Treatment for Longissimus Capitis Strain?

Cold Therapy Treatment for Longissimus Capitis Strain: Utilizing over the counter cooling gel goes a long way in helping with treatment of a strained Longissimus Capitis Muscle. This is mostly used in a fresh injury or strain as it immediately cools the area and prevents swelling from developing in the area. This gel is used by rubbing it at the injured site.

Warm Therapy treatment for Longissimus Capitis Strain: Hot or warm therapy can also be used for treating a strained Longissimus Capitis Muscle. This gel provides adequate warmth to the injured area without actually burning the area. It works fantastically well in relieving pain and stiffness associated with longissimus capitis strain. This gel needs to be put at the neck and the back of the head region and rubbed throughout the area for optimal results. It should be noted here that warm therapy should never be used when using ice packs or heat packs as this may result in blistering of the skin.

Massager: These days a lot of electronic massagers are available in the market which are battery operated and can be used anytime and any place. You just need to fit in the massager to the neck area and switch the massager on. This device works by calming down the tender areas and areas of inflammation and also acts on the trigger points thus relieving pain and getting relief from longissimus capitis strain.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 5, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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