Jaw Pain, Clicking, TMJ

Today I had a message from someone who had a severe case of jaw pain which included clicking, and shooting pain into her head.  I thought this would be a good topic to explain to you.  If you know anyone who is suffering from TMJ, or simply jaw pain, please share this blog with him/her.

I’m going to describe how to self-treat the muscle that causes TMJ but it will help if you will first go to read about repetitive strain injuries, including the sections titled “Muscles and Pain” and “What’s happening Exactly.”  That will give you a better understanding of why the muscles can be causing these problems.  You will also have detailed instructions and pictures of the techniques if you use Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living.

Meanwhile, if you do an internet search for graphics of the masseter muscle you’ll be able to see the muscle that is likely causing this problem. If you take your middle three fingers and put them right where your back teeth are located and then clench down hard, you’ll feel the masseter muscle contract.  This muscle originates on the bone under your eyes but back toward your ear, and it inserts into the rear of your jaw bone.  When the muscle contracts you bring your back teeth together to chew food.

Once you have found the muscle put the pads of your three middle fingers directly onto your cheeks, on top of the muscle.  Work on one side at a time, it’s too painful to do both sides at the same time.  Press on one side, going as deeply as you can tolerate.  You may need to move an inch or so in any direction in order to be right on top of the muscle.  Hold the pressure for 30 seconds and then slowly release the pressure but keep your fingers in the same position.  Then do the same to the opposite side.  Go back and forth several times until it doesn’t hurt anymore, then look for other painful points.

Use the tip of your pointer finger and press into the area directly under the end of your jaw bone, just under your ear lobe. Press around until you find the painful area and then using just your pointer finger, do the same as above:  press for 30 seconds, release, do the other side, and go back and forth a few times.

After you have done all of this, press on both of the masseter muscles and while pressing slowly open your jaw all the way.  Hold it for 5 seconds and gradually close your mouth. Do this three times and then open/close your jaw and see if it feels better.

Wishing you well,


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