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Semispinalis Capitis
Pointer Plus

Pointer Plus

The Pointer Plus is an easy to use trigger point (TP) locator which incorporates a push button stimulation feature to immediately treat Trigger point pain.

The Semispinalis capitis is a deep muscle of the back.

Anatomical Attachments:

  • Origin: Attaches to the transverse processes T1 through T6, C7, and articular processes of C4, C5, and C6 vertebrae.
  • Insertion: Attaches between the superior and inferior nuchal lines of the occipital bone.

Action: Extends and rotates the head to the contralateral side and also extends the ribs and pelvis.

Synergist: Semispinalis cervicis, Splenius capitis and cervicis, Spinalis cervicis, Interspinales, Longissimus cervicis, Iliocostalis cervicis, Multifidus.

Antagonist: Sternocleidomastoid, Longus colli and capitis, Scalenus anterior, medius, and posterior.


Click for Muscle Test 


Nerve Supply: Dorsal primary divisions of the cervical nerves (C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, and C6).

Nerve Entrapment: The Greater Occipital nerve.

Vascular supply: Collectively, the muscular branches of the posterior intercostals, the descending branch of the occipital and the deep cervical branch of the costocervical trunk supply the Semispinalis capitis, cervicis and thoracis.

Travell and Simons Trigger Point Pain Referral:  

Click on a small image to view an enlarged image

Trigger Point Signs and Symptoms: Headaches, tenderness over the back of head and neck, numbness, paresthesia in the scalp.

Trigger Point Activating and Perpetuating Factors: Acute trauma, chronic stress, Acceleration/Deceleration injury (Whiplash), postural stress, excessive cervical extension at night, neck constriction.

Differential Diagnosis: (Segmental, Subluxation, Somatic dysfunction) C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 or C6 radiculopathy (Bulging Prolapsed, Herniated Disc), Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Intervertebral or Vertebral stenosis, Vertebral vascular disorder, Cerebral aneurysm, Cerebral neoplasm (Brain cancer), Tension headaches, Cluster headaches, Occipitoatlantal articular dysfunction, Military neck (Absence of normal cervical spine lordosis), Cervical Spine Hyperlordosis, Thoracic Spine Hyperkyphosis, Scoliosis, Spasmodic Torticollis (Wryneck Syndrome), Rib Subluxation (Slipping Rib Syndrome), Cervical arthritis, Cervical syndrome, Subacute meningitis, Polymyalgia rheumatica, Polymyositis, Acceleration/Deceleration injury (Whiplash), Eye Strain, Ocular disease, Sinusitis, Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, Tetanus, Systemic infections or inflammation, Nutritional inadequacy, Metabolic imbalance, Toxicity, Side effects of medication.


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