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Temporomandibular Disorders: Treating Trigger Points

Topic Overview

Some people with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) have areas of the jaw joint that "trigger" severe pain. Trigger point management includes trigger point compression and trigger point injections.

  • Trigger point compression is done by a doctor or physiotherapist, who applies firm pressure to the jaw muscles with the thumb or knuckle. Trigger point compression works like a deep massage. The pressure may feel tense or uncomfortable at first, but as the pressure continues, the area loosens and discomfort decreases. Stretching and heat applications are applied after trigger point compression.
  • Trigger point injection involves a shot of local anesthetic into the trigger points of the jaw.

Credits

Current as of: March 25, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Arden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry

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