If you grind your teeth or suffer from headaches, ear pain, or jaw clicking, you might have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, also known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). TMJD results from injury to the TMJ, which is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. TMJD can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including pain with chewing, clicking or popping of your jaw, locking of your jaw, decreased movement of your jaw, ear pain, nerve inflammation, headaches, tooth grinding, and even TMJ dislocation in some cases.

The physical therapists at FYZICAL Cedar Crest can help determine the underlying cause of your TMJD and create an individualized treatment plan to decrease your pain, improve function, and enhance your quality of life.

Causes of TMJD

In many cases, the underlying cause of TMJD can be difficult to diagnose. The muscle tightness and dysfunction in TMJD may result from various factors including genetics, jaw injury, arthritis, poor posture, neck misalignment, teeth or jaw misalignment, stress, and excessive gum chewing.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for TMJD

Physical therapy can help reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore normal functioning of your jaw. While most cases of TMJD resolve without surgical intervention, if you do need surgery for your TMJD, physical therapy plays an important role in your recovery by helping to minimize muscle tightness and scar tissue formation and also encourages proper healing.

At FYZICAL Cedar Crest, our skilled physical therapists will assess your jaw and determine the root cause of your TMJD. They will then create an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your needs, which will help to manage your symptoms, restore the normal functioning of your jaw, and improve your quality of life.

If you or a loved one are suffering from symptoms of TMJD, contact us today to learn more about physical therapy for TMJD.

The Role of Physical Therapy for TMJD

Physical therapy is a safe and effective option for treating the underlying cause of your TMJD. Physical therapy can decrease symptoms of TMJD and restore the normal functioning of your TMJ. Your physical therapist may use a combination of therapies including manual therapy, to increase range of motion, decrease muscle tension, and improve TMJ alignment. They may also show you specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your jaw and correct any postural issues that may be contributing to your symptoms. They will also educate you on how to manage symptoms and prevent further problems. This may include advice such as wearing a nightguard, managing stress levels, and avoiding activities that irritate your TMJ, such as gum chewing.