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TMJ Trigger Point Massage, the masseter

Emily Boudwin

I’ve been there many times, jaw pain hurts! But there is something that you can do to help reduce your referred TMJ pain. You can massage the muscle yourself. In this post I show you the typical trigger point areas and referred pain patterns. I then show you how to self massage the masseter TMJ muscle. This muscle is the number one TMJ muscle and causes the most pain. Try following the video and written self massage instructions below. Let me know if it helps, leave me a comment.

Masseter TrP

Masseter Referred Pain

The pictures show the Masseter TMJ muscle, referred pain areas.

 Referred pain, the red area, comes from trigger points in the muscles, the X‘s

Deep Masseter TrP
Lower Masseter TrP

Trigger Points Refer Pain: Masseter TMJ Muscle

  • Upper and lower back teeth
  • Adjacent gums
  • Front of face
  • Under eye
  • Pain may feel like sinusitis
  • Jaw
  • Deep ear pain
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Roaring sound in the ear
  • Itching in the ear

The masseter jaw muscle is the strongest muscle in the body!

Trigger Point TMJ Self Massage Tutorial Video

Self Massage for TMJ Instructions- from video

  • Open your mouth.
  • Place your thumb all the way back inside of your mouth, outside of your teeth along the side of your cheek.
  • Reach your fingers back behind the jawline(outside the mouth), opposite of the thumb.
  • Clench your jaw to find the muscle.
  • Relax your jaw, once you have identified the muscle.
  • Pinch muscle (masseter) between thumb, inside the mouth, and the finger on the cheek for 10-20 seconds, allowing the discomfort level to drop 2-3 points before moving or applying greater pressure.
  • Apply pressure to 5-7 out of 10, on a 1-10 pain scale(1 = no pain, 10 = excruciating pain).
  • Repeat to treat the entire length of the masseter muscle.

LifeART image copyright 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.- Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved

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