Do you suffer from headaches, grinding of your teeth, clicking of your jaw or ear pain? These can be signs of Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, also known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). This is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury to the TMJ, which is the joint between your jaw and skull. The injured TMJ leads to pain with chewing, clicking and popping of the jaw; swelling on the sides of the face; nerve inflammation; headaches; tooth grinding and sometimes dislocation of the TMJ.
What causes TMJ syndrome?
Multiple factors contribute to the muscle tightness and dysfunction that characterize this condition. Most often, poor posture and neck alignment change the pull of the muscles that make your jaw move. This causes painful grinding and irritation of the TMJ. Other causes may include:
- Poor alignment of or trauma to the teeth or jaw
- Teeth grinding
- Poor posture
- Arthritis or other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders
- Excessive gum chewing
Benefits of a FYZICAL Manual Therapy Approach:
- Decreased pain and muscle guarding
- Increased range of motion
- Increased postural awareness
- Restored joint movement around a normal physiological axis
- Can prevent unnecessary drug use while providing treatment
At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, our expert therapists will perform a thorough evaluation. Once the root cause of your problem has been discovered, a comprehensive plan will be developed to quickly relieve your pain and restore natural movement to your TMJ. Furthermore, our physical therapists will teach you techniques for regaining normal jaw movement for long lasting results.
The focus of physical therapy for TMJ is relaxation, stretching, and releasing tight muscles and scar tissue. In most cases physical therapy can resolve TMJ and prevent the need for surgery. However, in cases where surgery is necessary, physical therapy is a vital part of the recovery process, as it helps minimize scar tissue formation, muscle tightness and allows for a complete recovery.