TMJ pain is often most commonly associated with the pain in the jaw muscles which can be often be very frustrating and often really hard to deal with. Cheek pain or jaw pain or TMJ pain can be caused by trigger points in a number of muscles including the
- SCM muscles
- Masseter muscles
- Medial Pterygoid muscles
- Lateral Pterygoid
- Trapezius muscles
- Medial Pterygoid
Here is a visual representation of the pain referral points of all these muscles
As seen above, multiple muscles can contribute to pain in the jaw and hence to best effectively resolve the problem, I recommend a combination of stretches and massages which effectively resolve one problem point after another (do look at the links above to see where each muscle refers pain to and what symptoms they might cause)
Self treatment for jaw pain
Here is a collection of stretches\massage videos which are very effective in releasing the trigger points in the muscles which cause pain the jaw. Do note, you should also look at loosening the Lateral Pterygoid which is explained lower down the page.
SCM muscle release
The two linked videos show how to release the SCM muscle. The first video shows how to release the trigger points and the second video shows how to stretch them out.
Trapezius muscle release
Masseter muscle release and massage
The videos linked below belong to their respective creators and all credit goes to them.
Masseter massage inside the mouth to reduce jaw pain
You can also do the masseter massage inside your mouth (which is highly effective) . So ensure your hands are clean or better I would get one of these gloves from amazon
Once you worn the gloves (or washed your hands)
- If you are massaging your left side, use your right arm
- Open your mouth as much as you are comfortable and grasp the cheek muscles inside the mouth.
- Gently massage the message searching around for really sore points, they might be sore and tender to the touch but as you massage them, you will find that the tenderness slowly goes away
- Massage for 60-90 seconds and then stop, don’t over do it
- Switch to the other side (use your other arm for the other side
Lateral Pterygoid massage to reduce jaw pain
- Wash your hands thoroughly before you start (yes you are going to put your hand inside your mouth again – or wear gloves)
- If you are massaging your right side, use your right hand
- Now take your index finger and run it on the outside of your molars (with your hands inside the mouth
- Keep extending your finger until you reach a hollow behind your last molar. This might be really sore and painful to touch
- Apply gentle pressure on it until you can feel the pain ebbing away
Do this regularly on a daily basis every morning.