The temporalis muscle is located on the side of the skull and is the muscle that covers the temple.
Temporalis trigger points cause a wide area of pain in the head and face. They can cause and contribute to headaches on the side of the head and in the front of the head over the eye.
A common symptom of trigger points in the temporalis is sensitivity and pain in the upper teeth. Pain may occur when you bite down, making chewing difficult. Upper teeth may become sensitive to warm and cold foods and drinks. You may feel as if your teeth don’t fit together as they should.
Where Is The Temporalis Muscle?
The temporalis muscle covers the temple area of the skull and extends down to attach to the lower jaw (mandible).
What Movements Does It Control?
- Closes the jaw
- Moves the jaw to the side
- Moves the jaw back to neutral position
- Holds the bottom of the jaw (mandible bone) in a resting position
For detailed anatomy information: Temporalis Muscle Anatomy Page
What pain and symptoms are associated with the temporalis muscle?
If you suffer from TMJ, chronic jaw pain, or sinus pain, the Headache Hat will help relieve your pain. The hat has two layers of cooling compartments that encircle the head, providing the recommended cold therapy and compression. It can be pulled down over the face to treat sinus and jaw pain.
What Causes Trigger Points In the Temporalis Muscle?
Constantly bending your head down to read your phone or tablet affects the muscle and can lead to soreness in the jaw and the development of trigger points. This also applies to holding a book in your lap and bending the neck to look down.
Does your pillow support your head and neck?
Sleeping without proper head and neck support is sure to aggravate neck and shoulder muscles. The Sweetnight Pillow has adjustable filling and is highly recommended for its neck support.
Temporalis Muscle Trigger Point Treatment
Self-treating the temporalis is easy. Place your fingertips in front of your ear at the jaw joint and massage up and diagonally using gentle pressure. Use the muscle diagram further up on the page as a guide. You should massage in the direction of the muscle fibers, not against, do not use a straight up and down motion. Massage the entire muscle feeling for small knots, tight bands of tissue, or areas that cause pain to increase. If you find one of these, stop and apply gentle to medium pressure for 10 seconds and then continue the massage looking for other tender areas. Do not hold pressure longer than 10 seconds as this will irritate the spot. Trigger points respond best to several short treatments spread throughout the day.
The best resource to learn how to treat small painful knots is The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. The authors explain trigger points and their effects in everyday language, not medical speak. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning to treat their own muscle pain.
Interesting facts about the temporalis muscle
- The temporalis muscle is heavily involved in temporal mandibular joint dysfunction.
- The temporalis muscle can cause discomfort in the upper teeth. The teeth may be more sensitive to hot and cold than bothered by pain.
The LotFancy Gel Pack for Jaw Pain can be used for hot or cold treatments and is recommended to those who deal with the pain and symptoms of TMJ.
Clinical diagnoses to which the temporalis muscle symptoms may contribute:
- Tension Headaches
- Migraine Headaches
- C2 radiculopathy
- Temporal Tendinitis
- Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
- Broken Teeth
Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the temporalis:
Satellite trigger points associated with the muscle:
- Temporalis on opposite side
- Masseter on the same side