What is TMJ Physiotherapy?
An effective component of treatment for your jaw pain!
The temporo-mandibular joint is the hinge between your temporal bone (the side of your skull where your ear is) and your mandible (your lower jaw bone), on either side. Muscles and ligaments ensure the proper positioning and most importantly the function of the joint so that you can chew, talk, and yawn with ease.
There are many factors that can lead to TMJ dysfunction:
- Injuries, especially to neck or back
- New postural demands (new job, desk, exercise regimen)
- Deconditioning after pregnancy and childbirth
- Recent dental problems/repairs/surgeries
- Anxiety or stress (can lead to jaw clenching and body tension)
TMJ physiotherapy treatment begins with your physiotherapist taking a comprehensive history of how your issue developed and is affecting you. The physical examination includes a thorough whole-body mobility and muscle/nerve function scan. Based on your specific findings, a treatment plan will be developed with a combination of modalities which could include:
- Manual (hands-on) therapy to your spine, skull, face and jaw; the techniques used can include localized joint and tissue work, myofascial release, cranio-sacral therapy
- Postural resetting through therapeutic movement and exercise, taping
- Nervous system relaxation through breath and mindfulness training
- Acupuncture, ultrasound
What to Expect on Your First Visit
TMJ physiotherapy sessions are conducted in a quiet, private room, with options of softer lighting, ambient music and blankets for your maximum comfort and relaxation. Sessions are typically conducted weekly and are 1 hour in length. Many patients report improvement or resolve after 4-6 sessions. Your physiotherapist will also educate you extensively on understanding your issue and how to best take charge of your recovery with your home exercise program.
Melanie is a Registered Physiotherapist who practices with an integrative outlook. After developing extensive experience treating orthopedic issues, she cultivated an interest in treating pain syndromes of a more complex nature. This led her to take courses in chronic pain management and the CranioSacral Therapy treatment approach. Along with acupuncture and customized exercise prescription, Melanie’s skills have helped many patients to date be successful in better managing or recovering from their jaw pain, head/back pain, and chronic pain conditions.