What is Semispinalis Capitis and What is its Function?

The Semispinalis Muscle belongs to the group of muscles that are present on either side of the cervical spine. This muscle is quite big and is present on the posterior part of the neck. The function of this muscle is to facilitate movements of the head and the cervical vertebral column. This muscle is further subdivided into three muscles which are the semispinalis dorsi, semispinalis cervicis, and semispinalis capitis. The muscle originates from the transverse process of the lower vertebrae and ends in the spine. This muscle can be strained due to various activities. A traumatic injury to the head or neck due to an assault or a motor vehicle accident can result in a strain of the Semispinalis Capitis Muscle. Working overhead for a prolonged period of time may also cause semispinalis capitis pain. Excess stress due to work schedule or any other reason may also be a cause of semispinalis capitis strain or pain. This is normally treated with warm and cold compresses. Massage is also one of the ways to calm the semispinalis capitis strain or pain.

What is Semispinalis Capitis and What is its Function?

Signs and Symptoms of Semispinalis Capitis Strain or Pain

Some of the symptoms which may point to a Semispinalis Capitis Strain or Injury are:

  • Pain in the upper part of the neck extending to the back of the head
  • Pain in the temple region radiating to the eye
  • Persistent headaches
  • Tenderness in the back of the head and neck
  • Scalp numbness.

Signs and Symptoms of Semispinalis Capitis Strain or Pain

What Can Cause Semispinalis Capitis Strain or Pain?

Some of the activities that can cause strained semispinalis capitis muscle are:

Injury to the back of the head which may be due to an assault, a motor vehicle crash, or while playing contact sports like soccer.

Prolonged use of cervical collar can also result in a semispinalis capitis strain or pain.

Stress is also one of the causes of semispinalis capitis strain or pain and hence stress management is very important for general overall health of the body.

Some of the medical conditions which have been associated with semispinalis capitis strain or pain are:

What is the Treatment for Semispinalis Capitis Strain or Pain?

Cold Therapy Treatment for Semispinalis Capitis Strain or Pain: Utilizing over the counter cooling gel goes a long way in helping with treatment of a strained semispinalis 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 Semispinalis Capitis Strain or Pain: This type of therapy can also be used for treating a strained semispinalis 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 post an injury to the Semispinalis Capitis Muscle. This gel needs to be put at the neck and back of the head and rubbed throughout the area for best 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: Nowadays 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 semispinalis capitis muscle strain or pain.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 10, 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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