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Trigger Points in the Upper Trapezius are often Associated with TMJ 

TMJ Disorders are often associated with trigger points and typically respond well to treratment

The temporomandibular joint (TMJD) works like a sliding hinge device, connecting the jawbone to the skull.

TMJD disorders typically cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control the movement of the jaw.


TMJ Dysfunction Trigger Point Course



There are many reasons for TMJD disorders and it's often hard to determine the cause.

The pain can be due to a number of problems, such as a jaw injury, jaw misalignment, or even arthritis.

Some clients who suffer jaw pain also tend to be "teeth clencher's" or grind their teeth, but this isn't always the case.

There are many people who habitually clench their teeth and never develop TMJD disorders.

It's now widely accepted that in most cases, the symptoms associated with TMJD disorders can be treated with manual therapy, self-managed care and other nonsurgical treatments.

It's only the very severe TMJD disorders that may require surgical intervention.

Trigger Points and TMJD

There are often widely differing opinions when it comes to treating trigger points for all types of injury, but TMJD disorders fit into that category where (almost) the exact same treatment sequence seems to work consistently.

Irrespective of the cause, trigger points are almost always associated with TMJD, and it is likely that these are somehow linked to a holding pattern, at the heart of the body's protect and defend mechanism. 

Common Treatment Sequence:

Step 1: Study the anatomy and direction of the muscle fibers.





Step 2: Sitting ICT to:

Upper Trapezius



Posterior Cervical Muscles



Splenius Cervicis


Step 3: Massage the area generously


Step 4: Supine ICT to:






Temporalis - especially at the muscle-tendon junction(STP)




Lateral and Medial Pterygoids






Find a Trigger Point Professional in your area

More About Ischemic Compression Technique

How to Treat Temporalis Trigger Points

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Dry Needling for Trigger Points

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Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.

Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.

Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.  

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We are honored to have received the 2017 "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.

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Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.

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There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.

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NAT courses are accredited for continuing education by over 30 professional associations in North America, United Kingdom, Australia, and European Union countries. These include The National Academy of Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy Board of California, AAFA, National Certification Board for Manual Therapists and Bodyworkers, Sports Therapy Institute, and Myotherapy Australia.

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Niel Asher Technique

Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.

The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.

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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 





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