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medial pterygoid: Self myofascial release

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 medial pterygoid 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 this muscle is irritated the ability to open the jaw is restricted and it can be quite tender to touch. You may also experience pain around the TMJ.

I’m going to show you two methods that may help to self myofascial release (SMFR) the medial pterygoid. But remember that this muscle can be quit tender to do not be overly aggressive.

SMFR of Medial Pterygoid:

Method 1

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 medial pterygoid 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 2

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.

Also take a look at SMFR of the masseter and the temporalis

Originally posted on May 17, 2022 @ 4:39 pm

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