Face Pain




Temporalis Muscle: Location, Action and Trigger Points

The temporalis muscle is a large, thin fan-shaped muscle located in the side of the skull above and in front of the ear. It is a muscle of mastication and its role is similar to the masseter, which is to elevate the mandible (lower jaw) and so close the mouth. Although the masseter is the more powerful muscle the temporalis is an important chewing muscle. It starts at the temporal bone of the skull but passes all the way down beneath zygomatic arch (cheek bone), attaching to the mandible, enabling it to assist the masseter in closing the jaw but also to retract the mandible.

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Masseter Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points

The masseter is a jaw muscle that gets its name from the Greek work "to chew". It is the major muscle of mastication (chewing) of the human jaw and serves primarily to elevate the mandible (lower jaw) while the deep tissues help to protrude (protract) it forward. Although we rarely think of it, the mandible is the only bone of the skull that is actually moveable. The upper jaw is fixed. There is a lot of moving for the mandible to do, therefore, and the masseter is the primary worker. Located on each side of the face in the parotid1 region at the back of the jaw, these muscles are easily visible or palpable when you clench your jaw, as they contract strongly just in front of the lower ears.2

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Sternocleidomastoid Muscle: Location, Action and Trigger Points

By Eric Troy, Ground Up Strength

The sternocleidomastoid (SCM) is a muscle of the neck so-named because it originates on the sternum (sterno) and the clavicle (cleido) and inserts on the mastoid process1 (mastoid) which is an easily located bony prominence behind the ear. The muscles pass diagonally across the front and side of the neck beginning at the top of the sternum and ending behind the ear. This two sided muscle is large and ropy, making it the most prominent muscle visible at the front of the neck.

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