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How Physio Can Help With Temporomandibular Disorder

By Author: Leslie
Total Articles: 7

Around 16% of people suffer from jaw pain requiring treatment and may not know if they should seek treatment from a doctor, dentist or physiotherapist. However, a handful of physiotherapists are qualified and highly experienced in the treatment of jaw pain, and can work alongside a dentist with the treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunctions and disorders.

The Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ), your jaw joints, are the most used joints in your body. Located on each side of a person’s face the TMJ’s are responsible for actions related to talking, chewing, yawning, smiling and laughing. When these joints or the associated soft tissue structures are not working correctly the range of conditions that can occur are known as Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).

What is a Temporomandibular Disorder?

TMD can be the result of a one-off injury such as a sports injury or a blow to the jaw. It can also occur due to repetitive motions causing wear and tear to the joint. TMD can also be the result of malalignment of the teeth, grinding and clenching of the jaw. This can cause the muscles around the jaw to be overworked resulting in muscle pain (myalgia) and can contribute to joint derangement.


What are the Symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder?

Some of the symptoms of TMD may include:
● Popping, clicking and grating noises when chewing
● Pain around the ear, cheek or temple
● Muscles spasms around the jaw
● Jaw tightness or limited movement
● Earaches
● Pain in the sinuses
● Headaches


What Causes Temporomandibular Disorder?

There are many causes of TMD such as clenching and teeth grinding, or a jaw injury. Arthritic conditions are also a cause TMD, as well as dental problems such as an underbite or overbite. Some other factors that may contribute to TMD include stress, poor posture, trauma, wisdom teeth removal and neuropsychological factors. It may seem strange that poor posture could have an effect on the jaw. However, when sitting hunched over or in a slouched position it changes the bite pattern which can result in tension in the jaw.

TMJ Physiotherapy

Problems with the temporomandibular joint can be diagnosed by a qualified physiotherapist or dental practitioner. It may be include an X-ray, MRI or CT scan for further investigation. Your Physiotherapist experienced in TMD will have an additional skill set in a hands on assessment of the muscle and joint dysfunction of your TMD.

TMJ physio includes a thorough assessment, examining the range of motion of the jaw, coordination and any excessive muscle tension. After the initial assessment your physio will provide a treatment plan to begin correcting the issues. Once diagnosed TMJ physio Perth can provide techniques to aid in the treatment and correction of the jaw joint. Some of the TMJ physiotherapy techniques and treatments available include:

● Massage to relieve tension
● Joint mobilisation
● Exercises to correct jaw movement
● Posture improvement
● Treatment of the surrounding areas such as the neck
● Strengthening and stretching exercises
● Dry needling

If the pain is related to stress, jaw clenching or teeth grinding, successful treatment can be completed in conjunction with a dentist. A night guard may be necessary to prevent damage to the teeth. In many cases with treatment however, the urge to clench reduces improving the comfort experienced in the morning.

Physiotherapists experienced in the assessment and treatment of TMJ dysfunction are few. With specific techniques and exercises, TMJ physio Perth can help by reducing pain and restoring normal jaw function.

More About the Author

At Integrity Physio, we take the time to give you a quality experience. We allow 30 minutes for all appointments so that we have the time to address all your concerns. You’ll always receive quality service from our practitioners, Leslie and Leanne, who are both Senior Physiotherapists with over 10 years experience in the management of acute and chronic muscle, joint and nerve pain. From our modern clinic in Como – South Perth we provide services for a wide range of conditions and are also highly experienced in the treatment of vertigo and jaw pain. Our family owned physiotherapy clinic in Como – South Perth is located on Preston St with easy parking at any time and some great places to enjoy a meal or a coffee after your appointment. We look forward to seeing you! https://www.integrityphysio.com.au/

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