Headache Pain: Occipitofrontalis

Headaches pain is a common reason that people visit registered massage therapists. It is important to have a working knowledge of the functional anatomy of the head, neck and shoulders in order to provide patients with the best available care.

This post is a brief overview of the occipitofrontalis muscle and its role in headache pain.


Short: The occipitofrontalis is muscle that connects the front of the head to the back.

Long: The occipital belly originates on the lateral two-thirds of the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone, and on the mastoid process of the temporal bone. Inserted into the galea aponeurotica, or epicranial aponeurosis, the occipital belly communicates with the frontal belly by an intermediate tendon. From the aponeurosis, the frontal belly is inserted in the fascia of the facial muscles and in the skin above the eyes and nose.


This muscle is primarily for facial expression.

Clinically myofascial trigger points in this muscle can mimic headaches. Pain is usually experienced in the forehead and the top of the head.

Take Home

Myofascial release/soft tissue techniques that work the forehead and the top of the head can often relieve headache pain, this is useful when treatment patients with post concussion syndrome.