The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is where your jaw bone is connected to your skull. A joint in the human body is defined as the point at which two bones are fitted together. The TMJ moves in different directions such as up and down, side to side. The joint is essential in tasks such as eating, talking and yawning.
When a person starts to experience pain and/or stiffness in the temporomandibular joint it is known as a TMJ disorder. About one in ten people of the population have signs of a TMJ disorder. A TMJ disorder may be caused by a number of factors, including:
Clenching your teeth (bruxism)
Hypermobility of the joint (excessive movement)
Symptoms from a TMJ disorder may include:
Restriction in Jaw Movement: difficulty opening, closing your mouth and, moving your jaw side to side
Deviation in Jaw Movement: if one side of your face is tight and sore the movement of the jaw can become deviated to one side
Pain: in your jaw, face, neck or ear. Pain can occur on one or both sides
Muscle spasm: the muscles around the TMJ can become tight and sore causing pain and stiffness
Tinnitis: ringing in the ears
Clicking: with jaw opening and/or closing
Jaw can become locked
Teeth Malalignment: your teeth may not come together like they normally do if you have a TMJ disorder
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
Our Physiotherapists are trained in assessing and treating TMJ disorders. After a thorough and detailed assessment from one of our TMJ Physiotherapists, treatment would be recommended that is specifically tailored to your condition.
Treatments Commonly Include:
Exercise: a home exercise plan including range of motion and strengthening
Mobilization: manual stretching of the joint by your physiotherapist
Postural Correction and Education: a home exercise plan to improve sitting, standing and sleeping postures
Soft Tissue Release: deep tissue massage to release tight and sore muscles
Deep Dry Needling: a technique using acupuncture needles to release tight and sore muscles
If you have any of these symptoms, please call Physiotherapy@Woodbridge 289 – 475 – 2147 and ask to speak to one of our TMJ Physiotherapists. We are pleased to offer complimentary 10-minute phone consultations to answer any questions you may have.
Monday to Friday: 7.30am – 8.00pm Saturday: 8.00am – 2.00pm