The TMJ connects the lower jaw to your temporal bone in front of the ear. This is the joint that allows your mouth to move in through its ranges of motion. You use your TMJ every day without a thought, that is until you have jaw pain. The pain can often be debilitating as patients suffer from simple tasks such as eating, yawning, and even taking deep breaths.
How does physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy can not only provide effective pain relief from TMJ dysfunctions but can actually solve the root cause. Physiotherapy techniques that can help with TMJ dysfunction are as follows:
1. Manual therapy (superficial on skin and intra-oral) to decrease tension in the jaw muscles responsible for TMJ motion
2. Strengthening of weak or dysfunctional muscles
3. Postal education (did you know your posture dictates the position of your TMJ! By improving Cervical and thoracic posture, your TMJ can be put in a more optimal position to function)
There are three main types of TMJ dysfunction, and treatment for each will be different. This is why it is essential to be assessed by a professional who has experience in this area. The three types are as follows:
Muscle disorders - This is the most common type involving pain in muscles that control the jaw, back, and shoulders.
Derangement disorders - this involves a disruption in the jaw's internal workings, such as a dislocation of a disc or damaged bone.
Degenerative disorders- General wear and tear of the TMJ via conditions like arthritis, which can deteriorate the cartilage in the joint
TMJ pain does not have to be a way of life, and it is treatable. Contact us to find out how we can help you feel better!