Jul 14

Toothache? Earache? Or Muscle ache?

sens_teeth_2aYour tooth has ached for quite some time now, but x-ray after x-ray your Dentist still sends you home with zero results of having a cavity. Your ear has ached for quite some time now, but the antibiotics are just not working. You are sore, frustrated, and clearly out of options so you decide pliers or surgery are your last hope. Think again. Put away that toolbox and instead dial your Massage Therapist.

When your muscles become over used or over stretched, the fibres (or fascia) of that whole muscle can entangle, twist, tighten, and in general become a pain in the neck. But that’s not the only pain. A tiny knot or what your Massage Therapist calls a Trigger point, can develop causing referral pain either local to that Trigger point or cause Trigger point referral pain to another area in your body that’s not even part of that muscle. Crazy but true. Therefore, the pain or ache you are feeling may not be stemming from that area. So before you yank your own tooth out, try first having a massage.


Let’s use our good ole friend Masseter as an example. This muscle lies just further back from where your cheeks are and is responsible for helping you chew. Trigger points in this muscle can cause deep pain in your lower and upper molars, even mimicking the pain of an infection in the root of the tooth. This pain can be fixed with massage and stretching techniques to essentially untangle the Trigger Point. As for that nasty earache or even a ringing in the ear, this Trigger Point referral is the fault of Sternocleidomastoid (SCM). This muscle is easily seen on the front of your neck when you rotate your head to the side; almost looks like a rope in your neck. One of SCM’s Trigger Point referrals are behind the ear, but feels like it is actually inside the ear. Once again, Massage and stretching techniques can rid you of this ache.

ear-painThese referrals exist throughout the body, head to toe, and you would be shocked to know how far away from the pain the Trigger Point can actually be. So once your Doctor or health care specialist has ruled out any other possibility for the cause of the ache or pain, book an appointment with your Massage Therapist and please, please, stay away from the toolbox.

– Serena Dixon, RMT

Do you want to encourage a loved one to become healthier? Consider a gift certificate. We offer gift certificates for both massage therapy and physiotherapy. They also make great birthday presents!

For more information about our services, see our website at: www.findyourbalance.ca