The temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint between lower jaw bone (mandible) and part of the skull bone (temporal). TMJ is responsible for jaw movement and is the most-used joint in the body. Many people are affected by TMJ disorder (TMD), which can cause many symptoms, including:
- Pain when joint is at rest or during movement (talking, chewing or yawning)
- Painful clicking upon closing mouth
- Limited range of motion causing restriction for the mouth to open
- Jaw getting locked
TMD can be associated with fascial pain, headaches, earache and tinnitus (noise or ringing in the ears).
Causes of TMD could be muscular or articular (joint related):
- Muscular causes include guarding, spasming, tightening or inflammation of the mastication muscles
- Articular causes include arthritic changes in the joint or disc displacement
Physical therapy is one of the most common and effective treatment for TMD issues.
We treat both types of TMD, whether caused by joint or muscular issues. Our approach is one of the best evidence-based approach and includes:
- Manual therapy to improve joint mobility and reducing muscle tension in neck and mastication muscles
- Postural exercises to enhance up right posture
- Educating patients in better ergonomics to prevent stress to the joint
- Dry needling to improve the health of the joint, reduce muscle tension and resolve the secondary symptoms such as headaches and tinnitus
If you suffer from any TMJ issues please make an appointment for a comprehensive exam.