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Understanding the TMJ Part II: Muscular Referral Patterns

In this second part of the TMJ series, our massage therapist, Nadege, introduces the concept of chewing and muscle referral patterns.


There are many different movements in the jaw that require the use of many different muscles and their patterns. Nadege shows and explains the different muscles in the jaw that are involved in chewing, and how they function together in the complex movements of chewing.


These muscles include the superficial muscles; temporalis, masseter and the inner muscle, the pterygoids. She discusses how these muscles in particular can cause TMJ pain.


"Referral pain" means pain can be felt somewhere, but the source of it is somewhere else. For instance, tension and tenderness of some of the muscles inside the skull can refer pain to the TMJ. When we feel pain in the jaw, we assume it must be coming from the jaw. That isn't necessarily the case.


To see how different jaw muscles affect sensation around the jaw, see our video here:



If you haven't tried massage for your TMJ pain, maybe it's worth a shot. You can book with one of our therapists here:

Nostos Chiropractic is a southeast Calgary chiropractic clinic. We offer chiropractic programs for pain relief, wellness, and posture improvement for adults, kids and teens. We also offer athletic therapy and massage therapy from our clinic.

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