The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull on both sides of the face. TMJ Dysfunction can cause pain in this joint as well as to the surrounding muscles that control jaw movement and produce radiating pains. This condition is common and limits the natural functions of the Jaw and causes pain and discomfort when eating and opening the mouth. TMJ is the joint itself while TMD refers to the disorder of this particular joint.
- Pain and tenderness of the jaw
- Locking of the joint
- Pain in and around your ear
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth or chewing
- TMJ Dysfunctions can cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you chew or open your mouth.
- The cartilage that covers the joint is damaged by arthritis
- Grinding of the teeth or frequent clenching of the Jaw
- The joint is pained or damaged from a hard impact or injury
- The disk that separates the parts of the cartilage covered bone that interact in the joint erode or is not in proper alignment
Physical Therapy Treatment
- Applying ice or heat
- Posture Education
- Physical Therapy can help you become aware of your posture, especially with seated desk jobs. Sitting with the upper body and head in a very forward position can cause strain on the muscles beneath the chin, causing the lower part of the jaw to pull back.
- Electrical Stimulation
- Manual therapy to increase movement and strengthen the surrounding muscles to relieve pain in the tissues and joints. Stretching the jaw can also restore normal muscle flexibility.