National Associaltion of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists - Symptom Checker

This is the technical name of the muscle being described.  This name may be used to find additional information in any medical resource. Temporalis
A group of muscles generally denotes muscles of the same function and may share a common attachment point. Jaw Elevator
Muscle function, in this definition, is what the muscle could do if it was to contract by itself with the body in anatomical position.  This is a general definition of muscle function.  For more information on how muscles work together on the body please refer to a physiology or functional anatomy text.

Primary function of the temporalis is to close the jaw.

A description of where a Myofascial Trigger Point may produce pain in the body.  This area is generally located away from the trigger point.

The temporalis is a muscle that is commonly involved with people who have tempromandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.  Pain is referred throughout the temple and along the eyebrow, behind the eye, and felt in any or all of the upper teeth on the same side. 
The TrPs in the temporalis may also refer hyperirritability to percussion of the upper teeth on the same side.  Pain may be referred to the TMJ and maxilla.

A description of the symptoms a person may experience with trigger points in the muscle being described.

A person with TrPs in the temporalis may complain of headaches, toothaches, or tooth site pain, but are usually unaware of restriction of jaw opening – which is usually only reduced 5-10mm.

Because the temporalis refers hypersensitivity to the teeth certain dental procedures may be performed to no avail if myofascial TrPs are the pain generator.


 A list of possible diseases that fit the information derived from examination of a patient.

  1. Diseased teeth.
  2. Tension headaches.
  3. Cervicogenic headaches.
  4. Polymyalgia rheumatica.
  5. Temporal arteritis.
  6. Temporal tendonitis.

A list of activities or positions that may either CAUSE a trigger point to manifest or PROLONG a pain condition respectively.

  1. Bruxism (teeth grinding) and clenching the teeth.
  2. Direct trauma to the temporalis, such as falling on the head or being struck by an object or baseball in the temporal region.
  3. Prolonged jaw immobilization, such as a long dental procedure.
  4. Head forward posture.
  5. Excessive gum chewing.

A corrective action is usually a modification of daily routine which will reduce stress on the affected muscle(s) in a person with myofascial trigger points.

  1. Eliminate or reduce gum chewing, eating caramels, biting a pen or pencil, chewing tough meat, cracking nuts or ice with the teeth.
  2. Ask for breaks before long dental procedures begin so that the muscle can be taken through several cycles of range of motion.
  3. An occlusal splint may be needed at night to keep the muscle from maximally shortening.
  4. Avoid cold drafts on the temple by wearing a night cap, hood, or scarf.

References : 
Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, vol 1, 2nd Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.

Travell JG, Simons DG, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, vol 2. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1992.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  A proper diagnosis should be sought from a licensed health care provider.