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The digastricus is one of your neck muscles and can cause astounding problems if it is tense or harbors trigger points.
The spectrum ranges from earache to difficulties when swallowing.
However, you can relieve tensions and trigger points with a self-massage.
On this page, I’ll show you how.
You will also learn about …
Tensions lead to sensitivity of pressure in the muscle. In this case, this means increased sensitivity along the area below your mandible.
Trigger points, on the other hand, can transmit pain to other regions.
In the anterior compartment of the muscle, they often cause toothaches of the lower middle four incisors.
Sometimes pain also arises in the area of the tongue.
In the posterior compartment of the muscle they can cause the following types of pain:
In addition to this pain, tensions and trigger points in the digastricus can cause the following ailments:
The digastricus consists of two muscle heads, an anterior and a posterior one. Its posterior fibers arise from the back of the head and its anterior fibers from the lower jaw.
The tendons of both muscle heads join at the hyoid bone, to which they are attached via connective tissue.
Origin of anterior fibers: Front edge of the mandible
Origin of posterior fibers: Mastoid process
Insertion: The ends of the tendons of the two muscles join at the os hyoideum.
There are several factors that cause the development of tensions and trigger points in this muscle.
These include among others:
Antagonist muscles are those that have the opposite function to the muscle in question.
Since the digastricus opens the jaw, in this case all muscles that close the jaw, are to be called antagonists.
In simple terms, it’s the entire system of muscles of mastication.
If these muscles carry trigger points, they can no longer be “easily” stretched or elongated. However, this is essential when you open the jaw.
Thus, the digastricus must always work against resistance when it opens the jaw.
This can overload it and lead to the activation of trigger points. One of the key antagonists is the masseter muscle. Make sure to have a look at it and massage it, if necessary.
Constant strain of the digastricus can also lead to trigger points or tensions.
Here are two common examples:
When you grind your teeth, you not only press your teeth together, but also “rub” them against each other.
With this rubbing, you often move the jaw forwards and backwards, which activates the digastricus and can overload it in the long run.
In order to breathe through your mouth, it’s necessary to open it. Here the digastricus is strained.
Breathing through your mouth for a very long time possibly overloads the muscle.
Thus, all situations that lead to a restriction of air supply via the nose are potential factors for a trigger point activation.
Air circulation can be restricted by many things. For example, by structural disturbances in the nose, or, and this is more often the case, by its congestion.
Colds or allergies can therefore become problematic and trigger pain in the throat, jaw and ear – pain that is or can be muscular in nature.
Any force that slams the head forwards or backwards or quickly bends or stretches the cervical spine can overload the digastricus.
Due to this rapid flexion or extension, part of the muscle is always stretched abruptly and too much. This can lead to the activation of trigger points.
Trigger points in the SCM (Sternocleidomastoid muscle: muscle of your neck) can cause pain in the area of the digastricus.
This can result in the activation of trigger points. In this case, we speak of satellite trigger points.
This means, if you have pain that is caused by the digastricus, you should also examine the SCM and eliminate any tensions that are present there.
You will find it difficult to feel the muscle or to distinguish it from the surrounding tissues.
But that is no problem, because you only need to know where and how to massage – and that’s exactly what I’ll show you in the next chapter.
For the self-massage you need nothing but your fingers. For this muscle I have not yet found a massage device that could replace them.
As a massage technique you can choose from the following techniques:
In the following, I’ll explain the precise massage strokes.
Thank you very much for your visit!