There are many causes of jaw pain and some of them cannot be addressed through myotherapy BUT there is one that Myotherapy treatment can nail really well; painful muscular trigger points.
These painful areas of hypertonic muscle occur in the prime mover muscles of the jaw when excess tension builds up, due to clenching, grinding and poor posture. There are two little muscles inside your mouth at the joint, which are culprits that cause local pain and refer to the neck and head! They are called Medial and Lateral Pterygoids (it’s not important to know these!)
By applying pressure to these muscles, the trigger points can be deactivated which will result in a relaxation of the jaw and decrease in pain. There are other surrounding muscles that play a part in this episode too and we treat those from the outside…
Oh! Did I not mention that I treat the Pterygoids INSIDE YOUR MOUTH…Whoops!
Having these internal mouth muscles treated is strange for many people, but is surprisingly common. It must therefore, be approached conservatively and most importantly, with the permission and consent of the patient.
I explain to the patient the details of the two muscles, their location and why treating them will hopefully help with their jaw pain.
With the patient lying on their back, I ask them to open their mouth so that I can run my rubber-gloved index finger along their teeth line, to their jaw joint. I then ask the patient to relax their jaw as much as they can, as this will relax the muscles I am hoping to treat.
It can be uncomfortable, I won’t lie! That said, I only spend up to one minute on each side!
So, if you have been having some jaw pain that you feel may be related to clenching, grinding or poor posture and want to try something apart from painkillers and sympathy, I’m ready and waiting!
Written by Bryan Kent