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Masseter Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Masseter Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation

Masseter AnatomyOrigin:

  • Superficial portion: from the maxillary process of the zygomatic bone, and the anterior two-thirds of the inferior border of the zygomatic arch
  • Deep portion: from the deep and medial surface of the zygomatic arch


  • Superficial portion: the angle and ramus of the mandible
  • Deep portion: the angle and ramus of the mandible

Action: Elevation and protraction of the mandible. Clenching of the teeth
Innervation: Branches of the mandible portion of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V)
Blood Supply: Branch from the facial artery

Primary Action of the Masseter Muscle:

1. Closing the mouth by elevation of the mandible

2. Clenching the teeth

Secondary Actions of the Masseter Muscle:

1. Assists with retraction of the mandible

For pain and symptom information see: Masseter Muscle: Jaw, Eye, Ear, Pain, Sensitive Teeth

Basic Anatomy Books

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.

Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.


The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice – Susan Salvo

Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark Beck


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