The masseter and the pterygoids are the two major muscle groups that influence the jaw directly. These muscles are involved in the opening and closing of the jaw. They provide the strength for chewing. They can also develop trigger points and can be the source of jaw pain for many people.
TRIGGER POINTS IN THESE MUSCLES CAUSE PAIN IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
THE MASSETER MUSCLE CLOSES THE JAW
The masseter muscle has 3 distinct layers. The muscle travels from the zygomatic arch or cheekbone down to the angle of the jaw.
Trigger points in the more superficial layers of the masseter refer pain to the eyebrow and the temple region. This trigger point is a major contributing factor to many headaches.
Trigger points in the deep layers of the masseter refer pain into the jaw and deep in the joint.
THE PTERYGOID MUSCLES OPEN THE JAW
They are located deep under the jaw bone, on the inside surface of the bone. Pterygoid trigger points refer pain into the ears, the throat and around the cheekbones.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE HELP?
With accurate diagnosis, through palpation and understanding of local trigger points, Inner Gate Acupuncturists can determine which trigger points are involved with your pain.
Treatment of these trigger points with acupuncture can effectively relieve the pain and positively influence the function of the jaw joint.