MFR Treatment Tips: Intra-Oral

by Walt Fritz, PT on April 2, 2016

Next in the series of MFR Treatment Tips is this close-up video on my preferred finger placement when treating the inner aspect of the mandible. While at times referred to as a pterygoid treatment, I find this label limiting. For one, it is a perceptual fantasy to believe we can isolate and target an individual muscle amidst all other structure as well as under the skin. No doubt therapists and practitioners reading this know their anatomy quite well, but given the limited accuracy of our under-the-skin palpatory skills, suggesting that we can be certain we are targeting the pterygoid is questionable. (Read Paul Ingraham’s article on Palpatory Pareidolia for more information. The second aspect to consider when naming a technique or even a target is that by doing  so you are limiting the potential of the technique sequence. One can recite the action of the pterygoid and if that does not seem to fit the symptoms of the patient, one may not even explore the technique. I prefer to refer to this sequence as a lateral jaw sequence, as the reported outcomes are often not what I was originally expecting, including less jaw clicking/crepitus, improved lateral jaw play, and reduced pain. I care little if I am impacting the pterygoid.

Though I teach and usually perform this sequence with the finger placed with my nail bed in contact with the teeth, using the opposite approach can work quite well.

Comments? Leave them below and thanks for watching and reading!

Walt Fritz, PT

Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminars provides quality small group training for MTs, PTs, OTs, and SLPs. Are you interested in bringing The Upper Body Seminar, The Lower Body Seminar, or Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders Seminar to your facility? From the website drop us an email or give us a call at 585-244-6180.

The information presented is intended for use by licensed health professionals with training in myofascial release. ©2016 Walt Fritz, PT and Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminars

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