If you've ever experienced pain or discomfort in your jaw, you may be familiar with TMJ pain. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a condition that affects the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. It can cause pain and discomfort, difficulty chewing or speaking, and a clicking or popping sensation when opening and closing the mouth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek treatment to alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life.
Common Symptoms of TMJ PainTMJ disorder can cause a range of symptoms that vary in severity from person to person. Some common symptoms of TMJ pain include:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw, face, ear, or neck
- Difficulty or discomfort when chewing, speaking, or opening your mouth wide
- Clicking or popping sound when opening and closing your mouth
- A feeling of "locking" in the jaw
- Headaches or migraines
- Ear pain or ringing in the ears
- Dizziness or vertigo
Causes of TMJ Pain
There is no one definitive cause of TMJ disorder, and it can develop for a variety of reasons. Some potential causes of TMJ pain include:
- Jaw injury or trauma
- Arthritis in the jaw joint
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Poor posture or stress
- Connective tissue disorders
How Physiotherapy Can Help with TMJ Pain
Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment option for TMJ disorder, particularly in cases where the condition is caused by poor posture or muscle tension. Our physiotherapists at Manotick PhysioWorks can develop a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs and symptoms. Some ways that physiotherapy can help with TMJ pain include:
Manual therapy techniques such as massage, myofascial release, or trigger point therapy can help relieve muscle tension and improve joint mobility in the jaw and neck. Your physiotherapist can apply pressure to specific areas of your jaw and neck to help release tension and improve joint mobility.
Your physiotherapist may provide you with exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles in your jaw, neck, and face. These exercises can help improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and prevent further TMJ issues. Examples of exercises include:
- Jaw opening and closing: open your mouth as wide as you can, hold for a few seconds, and then slowly close your mouth. Repeat several times.
- Chin tucks: sit up straight and tuck your chin in towards your chest, hold for a few seconds, and then relax. Repeat several times.
- Side-to-side jaw movements: move your jaw to the left and hold for a few seconds, then move it to the right and hold. Repeat several times.
Stretches for the jaw and neck
Your physiotherapist may also recommend stretches for the muscles in your jaw and neck. These stretches can help relieve tension and improve joint mobility. Examples of stretches include:
- Neck rotation: turn your head to one side and hold for a few seconds, then turn it to the other side and hold. Repeat several times.
- Head tilting: while seated and maintaining a straight spine, reach your right arm over towards your left ear and pull it towards your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat on other side.
- Jaw stretches: open your mouth as wide as you can and hold for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat several times.
Your physiotherapist can help you understand the causes of TMJ pain and provide you with strategies to manage it. They can also advise you on lifestyle modifications such as diet changes, stress reduction techniques, and posture correction to reduce TMJ pain.
TMJ Physiotherapy at Manotick PhysioWorks
If you are experiencing TMJ pain, it's important to seek treatment to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment option for TMJ disorder, particularly in cases where the condition is caused by poor posture or muscle tension. Our team of physiotherapists at Manotick PhysioWorks can work with you to develop a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs and goals.