Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY education The medial pterygoid is a quadrilateral muscle located deep in the lateral jaw. The fibers of this muscle connect the sphenoid, maxilla, and palatine bones to the inner surface of the angle and ramus of the mandible. It is located inferiorly to the temporalis muscle and zygomatic arch, and its fibers lie roughly parallel to the larger, more superficial masseter muscle. Together, the medial pterygoid and masseter form a tendinous sling around the angle of the mandible with the masseter located superficial to the ramus of the mandible and the medial pterygoid located deep. The medial pterygoid is found just medial to its counterpart, the lateral pterygoid muscle. The lateral pterygoid, masseter, and temporalis muscles all work with the medial pterygoid during chewing or mastication. Together, they move the mandible up and down (elevation and depression), forward and back (protraction and retraction), and side to side (lateral deviation). These motions are necessary for grinding food between the teeth and moving it around the mouth. When contracted, the medial pterygoid assists the larger masseter and temporalis muscles in elevating the mandible. The medial and lateral pterygoid muscles work together to protract and laterally deviate the mandible to the same side. Medial Pterygoid By Christy Cael 38 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 9 MEDIAL PTERYGOID Attachments • Origin: Lateral pterygoid plate of sphenoid (deep head), palatine pyramidal process, and maxillary tuberosity (superficial head) • Insertion: Interior surface of angle and ramus of mandible Actions • Elevates the mandible (bilateral action) • Protracts the mandible (bilateral action) • Moves the mandible laterally (unilateral action) Innervation • Trigeminal nerve Temporal bone Great wing of sphenoid bone Zygomatic arch (cut) Maxilla Medial pterygoid muscle Angle of mandible Deep head Superficial head Ramus of mandible (cut)

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