Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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The medial pterygoid muscle is challenging to palpate, as it is located deep to the ramus of the mandible and must be accessed either from the inner surface of the mandible or intraorally. (Note: many jurisdictions have additional requirements or limit the practice of intraoral soft-tissue manipulation.) Hypertonicity or fascial restrictions in the medial pterygoids may result in temporomandibular joint dysfunction and pain, referred pain, and related dysfunction in the upper cervical spine. Christy Cael is a licensed massage therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Her private practice focuses on injury treatment, biomechanical analysis, craniosacral therapy, and massage for clients with neurological issues. She is the author of Functional Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Palpation for Manual Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). Contact her at christy_cael@hotmail.com. Ta k e 5 a n d t r y A B M P F i v e - M i n u t e M u s c l e s a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / f i v e - m i n u t e - m u s c l e s . 39 Client Homework: Seated Chin Lift 1. Sit back on your heels or in any comfortable seated position. 2. Make a fist with one hand and cover it with your other. 3. Place fists under your chin, keeping elbows shoulder-width apart and spine straight. 4. Press your shoulders down, tilt your head back, and lift your elbows up toward the ceiling as you gently press into your chin and stretch the front of your neck. 5. Stay relaxed as you take several deep breaths and continue lifting and stretching the front of your neck. Editor's note: The Client Homework element in Functional Anatomy is intended as a take-home resource for clients experiencing issues with the profiled muscle. The stretches identified in Functional Anatomy should not be performed within massage sessions or progressed by massage therapists, in order to comply with state laws and maintain scope of practice. Palpating the Medial Pterygoid Positioning: client supine. 1. Sitting at the client's head, locate the inner surface of the angle of the mandible with your fingertips. 2. Hook your fingertips deeply onto the inner surface of the mandible. 3. Follow the oblique fibers of the medial pterygoid medially toward the sphenoid. 4. Have the client clench the teeth, elevating the mandible to ensure proper location.

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