Self myofascial release of the medial pterygoid

The medial pterygoid is a muscle of mastication (chewing).

It attaches onto the jaw near it’s angle but can’t be easily touched from out side of the mouth because there is bone is in the way.

Most of this muscle is found on the inside of the mouth just behind the bottom molars.

The action of this muscle is to close the jaw and to shift the jaw to the opposite side.

When it is a problem the ability to open the jaw is restricted.
and it can be quite tender to touch.

Pain can often be felt in the mouth but also around the TMJ.

I’m going to show you to methods to methods to treat this muscle. But remember that this muscle can be quit tender to do not be overly aggressive.

Method One

Slide your index finger down the inside of your cheek. The pad side is against the cheek and the nail said up against the molars. When you get to back of the molars you will bump into bone. Open your jaw and slide your finger in to the inner side of that bone . The muscle is right there. Apply mild to moderate pressure and wait for it to relax. Hold until it relaxes. Perform once 1 to 2 times a day.

Method two

Though not direct, this method helps treat the distal part of the muscle. As you can see, the muscle ends up at the angle of our jaw. Take your thumb and tuck it underneath your jaw at this point. Use the pad of your thumb to contact the tender point o this muscle. You will have an easier time getting into this spot if your tuck your chin down. Hold until it relaxes. Perform once 1 to 2 times a day

when trying to contact the muscle from the outside you need to be aware that there are salivary glands near here as well. If you feel like you are starting to salivate that tender spot may be the salivary gland.

Toe Cars (Controlled Articular Rotations) / Toe Yoga

Dr Notley, Winnipeg Chiropractor and Athletic therapist demonstrates a mobility drill for the toes, called Toe CARs or Toe Yoga.

The toes are often neglected when it come to mobility. The joints in this area deserve to move just like the rest of the joints in our body. Rigid shoes limit how much the toes should move. The toes can bend up and down but can also spread apart. Using toe spreaders/spaces are a helpful addition to this exercise Repeat this movement side to side a number of times a day.

** There should be no pain with this movement. If you do experience pain seek out care from a profesional. Dr Notley is available, by appointment, through the following linkhttp://Drnotley.com/Contact**

Dr Notley’s practice is an evidence informed, multi-modal treatment method which combines spinal manipulation/mobilization, exercises, acupuncture and other modes of care, along with patient education.

Why is your back stiffer in the morning?

You may have noticed when you wake up in the morning that your spine is more stiff than it was before you went to bed.

I’d like to explain why this happens.

Why is my back stiffer in the morning?

The intervertebral discs between our vertebrae are made up of  multiple, strong, fibrous layers called the annulus fibrosis. The annulus encases the nucleus pulposus which is a jelly like substance. This jelly substance is attracted to water.

When we wake up in the morning our spine is approximately 19mm longer than it is at the end of the day. This is because when laying down the force of gravity on our spine is less than the force of attraction of the water to the nucleus pulposus. Therefore, water is drawn into the intervertebral disc.

This increase in water in the discs reduces the ability of the spine to bend forward by between 5 and 6 degrees.  Bending stresses on the spine are increased by 300% and stress on the ligaments is increased 80%.

Sadly, the muscles don’t seem to compensate for this stiffness by restricting the lumbar spine’s bending range of motion.  Therefore, when we bend forward this increased stress on the spine increases our chance of aggravating or injuring our spine.

Thankfully, approximately 50% of increased disc height is reduced within the first hour of the day.

Should I workout in the morning?

Based on this information it is highly recommended that if you want to exercise avoid spinal based movements that involve flexing the spine or bending within the first hour.

For those with chronic lower back pain this advice holds true as well.  Do your best to minimize the amount of bending that you perform within the first hour of the day. Plan your day out, the night  before, so that the first parts of your day involve less bending and heavy lifting.  Later in the day these activities would be more appropriate.

Dr Notley

P.S. You can watch more videos on Instagram TV and Youtube

 

Shoulder Blade Circles (CARs) for neck pain, back pain or shoulder pain

Shoulder blade scapular circles/carsThe shoulder blades or scapulae have muscles that extend to the neck, thoracic spine, ribs and shoulder.  The shoulder blades, therefore, can influence these other regions. Having control/mobility over the scapula would thus be a potential area to work on if you are having problems in these other areas.

I often have my athletes and my desk athlete’s perform scapular circles if they have any problems in these regions. They are easy to do and can be done anywhere.

Shoulder blade / scapular circles (CARs)

Shoulder blade circles/scapular circles (CARs) can and should be performed with the arms in any position.

To show the movement of the shoulder blade I will perform this movement, in the video, with my arms out in front of me. I will only move one arm so you can see how much the shoulder blade contributes to the movement. Keep in mind you can perform this exercise with both shoulders simultaneously.

I often start my athletes off with their hands resting on their laps. This tends to be the easiest way to start. As they get more accustom to controlling the movement of the shoulder blade the arm can be placed in different positions.

start by pulling the shoulder blades together. Once you’ve hit your max then keep the shoulder blades and raise them up as high as you can. Once you have reached your max then round/reach the shoulder blades forward as far as you can, keeping the should blades up. then when you reach the end point keep it there and drop the shoulder blade down.

Perform this movement slowly.

Take about 30 to 60 seconds to complete one circle.

Dr Notley