Kunitachi Ozawa Acupuncture Clinic.

Case Reports

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neck and shoulder pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

main symptoms

about 10 years ago, she visited a dental clinic for a toothache and was diagnosed with overuse of the jaw.
at that time, she was treated with injections and temporarily felt better, but it soon returned to normal. she has always had a habit of clenching her teeth, but even now she is more aware of the stress-induced clenching because she has almost no time off from work and has to be very careful.
her neck and shoulders are also chronically stiff, which she thinks is caused by clenching. she came to our clinic this time because she had been going to massage therapists several times, but it did not get better.

visual observation and palpation

on visual observation, swelling was seen from the neck to the shoulders, as well as a significant swelling in the masseter muscles on both sides. palpation revealed recognition sensation, especially in the masseter muscle.


since this was the first time for her to receive acupuncture, we used thin needles and adjusted the amount of stimulation.

1st treatment →30mm, gauge 0.14mm, trapezius, semispinalis capitis, levator scapulae, sternocleidomastoid, lateral pterygoid, medial pterygoid, masseter muscle
she felt a little sluggish after the treatment, but it was gone by the next day and she felt somewhat comfortable. Pain Scale 10 → 9

2nd~3rd treatment → same as above
・・・the swelling in her neck was removed, and it became easier to apply the acupuncture needles to the bad points. during the treatment, recognition was often felt in all areas, so she was aware that the treatment was working. pain scale 9 → 6
4th~5th treatment: in addition to the above, the temporalis muscle the pain in the jaw decreased significantly. the neck and shoulders were better than the first time, but he still felt stiffness when he was busy at work. pain scale 6 → 3

after that, she was completely cured.


the muscles used to move the jaw are called masseter muscles, lateral pterygoid muscles, medial pterygoid muscles, and temporalis muscles. trigger points in the masseter muscle can cause not only jaw pain but also ear diseases (hearing loss, ear ringing, auditory sensitivity, etc.). in this case, the chewing had formed a strong trigger point in the masseter muscle due to chewing for a long time.

in this case, the trigger points were formed in the masseter muscles due to chewing. by treating the neck together, the healing process is much faster. the less you are aware of the stiffness, the more you will notice it after it becomes severe. at first sight, people tend to think that there is no relationship between jaw pain and the neck, but in fact, there is a possibility that they are deeply related at the root.

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