Sinus Pain

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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Pterygoid Muscle and Jaw Pain

Having a forward head posture puts a lot of strain on the muscles of your neck and jaw. Having a "forward head" means that your head (and often one or both shoulders, too) are in front of your body.

Where should your head be instead? Well, when you were a toddler, it was pretty much directly over your body and that's still where it should be. Due to habits, furniture, car seats, work and life, sometimes our head moves out in front of us. That causes a lot of symptoms and TMJ pain, or pain and difficulty moving your jaw, can be one of those symptoms.

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