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.

What is the best mattress to buy?

Dr Notley here. Winnipeg Chiropractor and Athletic Therapist.

What is the best mattress to purchase?

Sometimes the cause of morning back stiffness or chronic lower back pain is the bed you sleep in. What is the best type of mattress?

Research has looked at the affect of changing mattress types on the quality of sleep as well as the affect on lower back pain.

Currently there is no definitive answer but this is what I found:

  1. Lower back pain is more prominent in those who use cheaper mattresses.
  2. Despite similar quality mattresses the amount of spinal twisting or bending in the thoracic spine varies significantly.
  3. Foam or innerspring mattress? It doesn’t matter. The quality of sleep is unaffected.
  4. Adjustable air beds and custom bedding systems reduce back pain and improve sleep quality.
  5. Using a mattress of medium firmness improves pain, disability and sleep quality. But there is some question whether this is true for heavier individuals.

Conclusion

At this point in time it seems that a mattress of medium firmness and of medium or high quality material may be best but there will be some variation in comfort depending on the individual. A customized mattress may be the best option but likely the most expensive.

Get your knees rotating better with this exercise

Dr Notley, Winnipeg Chiropractor and athletic therapist, demonstrates closed chain knee circles to emphasis the rotational mobility of the knee.

The knee has the ability to rotate. A lack of range of motion in rotation can alter the movements around the ankle and hip. This may be a cause of pain in the knee, ankles, hips and even the lower back.

Closed Chain Knee Circles

The reason these are called closed chain is that the chain of joints (toes, foot, ankles, knees, hips, stay in contact with the ground.  You can see in this other knee circles/cars exercise that my foot is off the ground. This is an open chain exercise.

To perform this exercise start with both feet together.  Bend your knees and then separate the knees out wide as far as you circle around the knee straightens out again.

Make sure you keep your feet from coming off the ground. If your foot comes up the rotation is occurring elsewhere.  This knee circles emphasizes knee internal rotation.

To emphasize knee external rotation, which often is not a problem for people, separate your feet and this time flex your knees and bring your knees together as you circle around back  to a straight leg.

You will see in this video that my left knee doesn’t come out to the side as far as the right. I have sprained my left ankle before and have knee pain to the inside of my left knee

Please note that there should be no pain with this movement. If you do experience pain seek out care from a professional. Knee rotation, when the knee is flexed, is a mechanism of injury for the menscii of the knee. Perform this movement slowly. **

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.

Dr Notley is available, by appointment, through the following link http://bit.ly/Drnotley-Contact

Knee circles for healthier knees

Dr Notley, Winnipeg Chiropractor and athletic therapist, demonstrates open chain knee circles to emphasis the rotational mobility of the knee.

The knee has the ability to rotate. A lack of range of motion in rotation can alter the movements around the ankle and hip. This may be a cause of pain in the knee, ankles, hips and even the lower back.  Those who have pain with squatting may be having a problem with rotation around the knee

Open Chain Knee Circles

The reason these are called open chain is that the chain of joints (toes, foot, ankles, knees, hips, are not in contact with the ground.  You can see in this other knee circles/cars exercise that my feet stay on the ground. This is a closed chain exercise.

To perform this exercise begin by holding your thigh so your movement is coming from your knee rather than from your hip. Turn your foot to the out side and pull the heel up as close to your buttocks as you can.  Make sure you are keeping your foot point out the entire time

Once you have reached as far up as you can turn the foot inwards and straighten your leg out.  As you near complete straightening of the knee your foot will naturally end up loosing the inward rotation of the foot so don’t worry about that.

You can also perform this exercise in the opposite direction by first turning the foot in and then pulling up towards your buttocks.  

Don’t rush through these movements. Take your time.  Going too fast allows your body to skip through problem areas.

If you experience pain while performing this exercise consider making an appointment to be examined by a professional.

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.

Dr Notley is available, by appointment, through the following link http://bit.ly/Drnotley-Contact

Self myofascial release of the massetter muscle

The masseter muscle is located at the angle of your jaw. As you clench your jaw you can feel this muscle contract. it’s primary action is to close the jaw but  can also contribute to retracting (pulling the jaw backwards) the jaw.

Pain can refer to the ear, TMJ, over the eye and into the upper and lower teeth. It can be involved in tension-like headaches, cervicogenic headaches, ear aches or molar pain. Problem with this muscle can also be a cause tinnitis, ringing in the ear.

This muscle may be aggravated due to head posture, prolonged open jaw during dental surgery, habits of clenching the teeth, gum chewing, cracking hard candy.

Often overlooked systemic perpetuating factors are low thyroid function, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, electrolyte disorders, and depression.

To treat the superficial component of the masetter find a tender point using your thumb or ball then open up your jaw.  Feel the tension under your thumb or the ball.

To relax the deep masseter partially open your jaw.  Then attempt to jut your jaw out while using your hands to resist this movement.  This causes the muscles that retract (pull the jaw backwards) to relax.