It's Muscle Monday again! We missed last week as it was a pretty hectic week, so we missed several of our posts for the week. I'll try to do better this week! This week's muscle is the Masseter Muscle.
L O C A T I O N:
The masseter attaches a bone under the eye (zygomatic) to the bottom jaw (mandible).
R O L E:
- It brings the jaws together
- It moves the bottom jaw to the side
- It is the primary muscle for chewing
D Y S F U N C T I O N:
Activities that cause masseter muscle pain and symptoms in the horse:
- Biting into something hard
- Teeth grinding
- A rider who constantly pulls or balances on the reins (horses used for riding lessons)
- Pulling back when tied
S Y M P T O M S O F P A I N:
- Pain and dysfunction in the Masseter muscle can cause a horse to lose weight and become head shy.
- Difficulty chewing, grain or hay will ball up in the mouth
- Grain has a tendency to fall out of the mouth
- May yawn excessively or move the bottom jaw side to side
- Weight loss
- May be heavy on the bit, or refuse to engage with the bit
- Tendency to toss the head
- Difficulty or reluctancy to be bridled
How Can Equine Massage Therapy Help With Masseter Symptoms?
Massage therapy can help with masseter muscle pain and symptoms by releasing stress points that lay in the belly of the muscle. The muscle is then worked to relieve additional tension.
Muscle Monday Posts!
I'll post all of the Muscle Monday posts from our Facebook and Instagram here so it's a little easier for you to find if you'd like to learn more about your horse's muscles.
"The real joy in life comes from finding your true purpose and aligning it with what you do every single day."
"I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of the man, than the outside of the horse."