Suboccipital Massage Tool: All You Need To Know

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Are aware of what a suboccipital massage tool is? When a patient presents with headaches and neck pain around the base of the skull, experts typically notice sensitivity in the suboccipital muscles during an examination.

The suboccipital muscles, which are located at the base of the skull, are a set of muscles many people experience headache pain from. 

There are many kinds of headaches. Suboccipital headache is one of the more frequent types of headaches.

Do you consequently suffer from suboccipital pain? If yes, stay reading to learn more about the causes and treatments of having suboccipital pain.

Suboccipital muscles

At the base of the occipital bone, there are four pairs of deep muscles, collectively known as the suboccipital muscles. These four muscle pairs controlled the delicate motions between the skull and the first and second cervical vertebrae.

These are the four muscles:

  1. Rectus capitis posterior major
  2. Rectus capitis posterior minor
  3. Obliquus capitis inferior 
  4. Obliquus capitis superior

The suboccipital group works tirelessly to keep your head balanced on top of your spine, together with several other neck muscles. They especially start and regulate little movements.

The suboccipital muscles are responsible for all head movement. They coordinate and control these movements at the same time.

  • Rotation of the cervical spine
  • Extension of the cervical spine
  • Control of the flexion movement of the cervical spine
  • Combinations of these movements
  • Lateral flexion of the cervical spine

The nerves that pass through the suboccipital region may become entrapped when the suboccipital muscles contract. The suboccipital nerves are compressed, which sets off a chain of events that can cause tension headaches or migraine.

It is perplexing that the suboccipital muscles’ importance is underappreciated given that they play a crucial role in maintaining stability in the upper cervical area and in stabilizing the position of the head.


Common causes of suboccipital muscle tension and tenderness include:

  • New glasses causing eye strain.
  • These muscles are working hard while we are seated at a computer with our head forward and slightly tilted. 
  • The muscles gradually grow weary, fatigued, and hurt because of this improper posture.
  • A slouched posture, teeth grinding, and trauma


The following are typical warning signs and symptoms of a headache caused by the suboccipital:

  • Upper neck discomfort, stiffness, and a dull ache at the base of the skull.
  • Headache that radiates to the back of the head, the forehead, and the area behind the eyes.
  • There may occasionally be nausea or vision abnormalities, but those symptoms are more typical in migraine-type headaches.


When applying ice, stretching, or massaging the suboccipital muscles, people frequently get relief. Rubbing the suboccipital area might lessen or even cure a headache in its early stages.

Palpating the suboccipital muscles when the headache is getting worse is common. Some people have a headache or tension band that moves towards their eyes. The suboccipital muscles may feel more pressure, which could make eye pain worse.

Treatments for suboccipital headaches include:

  • Massage
  • Applying Ice
  • Ultrasound
  • Cold lasers
  • Stretching

The purpose of treatment is to lessen suboccipital and trapezius muscular spasms. The trapezius and upper back muscles suffer further damage and spasms because of the poor posture of slouching forward and tipping the head up. The goal of treatment is always to strengthen these muscles as well.

To reduce stress and pressure on the muscles, the focus of the treatment will be on improving posture while standing and sitting. 

Aside from the suboccipital massage tool, does massage treatment also be effective?

Massage treatment is quite effective at reducing these muscles’ tension, discomfort, sensitivity, and spasms. It will improve flexibility through stretching. It will strengthen the weak neck and shoulder muscles using strengthening exercises.

The most enjoyable and well-liked massage point on the human body is under the back of the skull. No other muscle group receives as high praise. 

It has everything, including feelings that are an incredibly soothing and powerful therapeutic connection to one of the most widespread human pains—the common tension headache. Without these muscles, your head would fall off, so it makes sense. They think themselves to be of equal importance.

Roles of Jaw Muscles in Suboccipital

The muscles of the jaw balance the suboccipital. A group of muscles pulls in one direction, while muscles on the opposite side of the joint pull in the opposite direction. 

However, the jaw muscles have little impact on the spinal joints and cannot balance the head directly by competing with or cooperating with the suboccipital. 

Research on the jaw muscles has revealed that they act similarly to how they would in a push-pull interaction with the suboccipital, which is more typical. Together, they both work and don’t work. 

Both muscle groups frequently contain trigger points that are highly associated with headaches and migraines, and they are likely the root of most headaches. These individuals are also more prone to experience muscle discomfort as a migraine or cluster headache triggers. How to take care of them?

  • Use your fingertips to press upward under the skull’s base. 
  • Have someone lie face up and massage their suboccipital. 
  • Start slowly, but most people can withstand significant pressure in this situation.

The main difference between suboccipital and occipital

A muscle that surrounds sections of the skull is called the occipitalis muscle, sometimes known as the “occipital belly.” Several sources have described it as a separate muscle, the occipital muscle. However, it is now alongside the frontalis muscle as a component of the occipitofrontalis muscle. Meanwhile, the suboccipital muscles are a collection of four muscles that are beneath the occipital bone.

Pain in the muscles of the occipital and suboccipital regions has been successfully treated with massage therapy. But do massage and massagers also work well for treating pain? If so, what are the most effective tools for this?

The best occipital and suboccipital massage tool

Although visiting a massage therapist can be calming, it can also be very expensive. So purchasing a portable, at-home neck massager is a sensible alternative if you don’t have the time or money to have a professional massage. The practical tools make it simple to untangle knotty situations and relieve tension.

Occipital and suboccipital massage tool come in a variety of forms, including portable handheld units, neck-wrapping gadgets, and even manual massager rollers. While some have unique features like programmable heating settings that let you administer heat therapy to sore areas, others are made to apply pressure to specific pressure points to relieve migraines.

Listed below are some of the occipital and suboccipital massage tool that reputable producers developed. On many sales websites, as well as on sites like the Better Business Bureau, we examined customer comments and reviews regarding each product and its producer.

We hope you can benefit from these massage tool recommendations.

Best overall massage tool: InvoSpa Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

  • You can use this massage tool in either the upper or lower body. You won’t have to be concerned about exceeding the 15-minute automatic shutoff time. Additionally, a carrying case, wire, and car charger are included.

Good massage tool for the neck: VOYOR Neck Massager

  • Two flexible silicon balls are present on each side of the inner rim of this product. You positioned purposefully the balls to exert pressure on constricted neck muscles. All you have to do is hold the ergonomic handles while gently massaging your neck.

Best handheld massager: RENPHO Rechargeable Handheld Deep Tissue Massager

  • There are various percussion speed settings on this portable, rechargeable massager. It includes a charger and five interchangeable massage nodes. A single charge can last up to 140 minutes.

ZeenKind Occipital Release Tool and Trapezius Muscle Pain Massager

  • It is a tool for relieving neck and tension headache pain, and it may also massage pressure points on the neck from the head to the shoulder blade.

LittleMum Trapezius Trigger Point Massager

  • This massager is for upper back pain, tension headaches, and migraines. It is also a deep-tissue massage tool.

Purify Life Occipital Release Tool for Pivotal Therapy 

  • It can be used as a neck pillow for cervical traction and even as a lumbar dysfunction treatment. It can also treat soft tissue injuries, spinal alignment, and tension headaches, in addition to relieving neck and shoulder pain.

Occipital Release Tool

  • It is a trigger point therapy device for headaches, migraines, and stress, as well as cervical traction for the neck and shoulder.

Occipital Release Tool 2.0

  • It’s cervical traction for the shoulder and neck. It also serves as a pain chiropractic alignment pivot massage tool for migraine, stress, and trigger point therapy.

The Deep Tissue Doc Headache Releazzzer

  • It is used for deep tissue massage, sub-occipital release, and migraines brought on by tension.

Cranial Cradle Occipital Release & Myofascial Relief

  • It is a pressure point massage for occipital neuralgia, suboccipital headaches, tension headaches, and migraines.

Other recommendations:

  • Pressure Point Massage Tool
  • Psoas Muscle Release Tool
  • Trigger Point Massager Tool
  • Hip Hook Release Tool
  • Hip Flexor Release Tool
  • Occipital Release Tool
  • Wood Therapy Massage Tools


When massaging the suboccipital muscles with the aforementioned suggested suboccipital massage tool, pay special attention to the region just below your skull and a few centimeters down. You can also give the areas below a little more massage, but then you won’t be working the suboccipital muscles.

Gently massage those muscles. Your cervical spine’s region is sensitive, and the muscles there can react strongly to a massage, especially if you’re not used to it.

A powerful massage might cause dizziness and irritate the receptors for spatial orientation, but if you go slowly and pay attention to your body, you can typically avoid these issues.

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