Your jaw is connected to your skull by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ dysfunction can develop if there is an injury to this joint. This is a condition that causes the joint and its associated muscles to become painful and stiff which can make opening your mouth, talking, yawning, and chewing very difficult.
How do I know if I have TMJ Dysfunction?
There is no single tool in diagnosing TMJ dysfunction. Symptoms include jaw pain, popping of the jaw, headaches, sore muscles of the jaw, locked jaw, temple pain, and earaches. There are several reasons why TMJ dysfunction can develop, but misalignment of the teeth, gum chewing, arthritis, teeth grinding, or injury to the jaw are some common causes.
How will physical therapy help with my TMJ Dysfunction?
Physical therapy is probably one of the most common interventions for TMJ disorder. One of our trained therapists will complete a thorough medial history and examination during the initial evaluation to determine diagnosis and develop a care plan based on the extent of your symptoms and your particular needs.
The aim of physical therapy is to restore the normal function of the jaw muscles and joints. Any combination of strategies and modalities can be part of your treatment plan, including jaw exercises, soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, myofascial techniques, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound.