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2 Credits

Static Manual Release: Suboccipitals, Sternocleidomastoid (SCM), Scalenes and Cervical Extensors (Multifidi) (Cervical Dysfunction)

Manual release techniques for the commonly overactive muscles of the cervical spine. Soft tissue release techniques for the suboccipitals, sternocleidomastoid (SCM), scalenes, and cervical extensors (multifidi). Advanced soft tissue, massage, trigger point palpation, and mobilization techniques to inhibit antagonists. The reliability and validity of manual release techniques for forward head, shoulders elevate, neck pain, shoulder pain, headache, and upper body dysfunction.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Description: Suboccipitals, Sternocleidomastoid (SCM), Scalenes and Cervical Extensors (Multifidi) Static Manual Release

This course describes static manual release techniques for cervical spine muscles commonly assessed as over-active and prone to trigger point development. Unfortunately, it is easy to be confused by a large number of synonyms for the terms used for these techniques. For example, the techniques described in this course may be considered refinements of neck massage, cervical massage therapy, therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, trigger point massage, static compression techniques, cervical soft tissue mobilization, muscle inhibitory techniques, and manual therapy techniques. Even the term trigger point is referred to by a variety of synonyms including muscle knots, nodules, adhesions, over-active muscle fibers, hypertonic fascicles, and acute points of hyper-contractility, and the trigger point phenomenon is likely part of every reference to short muscles, muscle tightness, muscle spasm, upper back stiffness, neck stiffness, etc. Part of the reason there are so many synonyms is the rich history of scientific inquiry, from multiple disciplines and cultures, that have contributed to our understanding of the techniques described in this course.

This course includes techniques for the suboccipitals, sternocleidomastoid (SCM), scalenes, and cervical extensors (multifidi) muscles. Release techniques for these muscles are commonly included in an integrated program designed to address neck pain, neck stiffness, upper back pain, scapular (shoulder blade) muscle pain, upper arm pain, and potentially radiculopathy ("pinched nerve"). These techniques may also aid in addressing poor posture correlated with the cervical spine, upper thoracic spine, scapula, and shoulder dysfunction, including forward head posture, thoracic kyphosis, and rounded shoulder posture. Last, these techniques may be beneficial when included in an integrated program designed for shoulder dysfunction (e.g. shoulder impingement syndrome), upper arm and elbow dysfunction (e.g. lateral epicondylitis), and lower back pain (lumbar spine dysfunction).

The techniques in this course are recommended for all clinical human movement professionals (physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, athletic trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, etc.) to develop an evidence-based, systematic, integrated, patient-centered, patient-centered, and outcome-driven approach.

Techniques Covered in this Course:

Additional Static Manual Release Courses

For a review of muscle fiber dysfunction and trigger point etiology:


Research Corner

4 sub-categories


4 sub-categoriesvideo


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1. Introduction

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