We’ve all experienced jaw pain at some stage in our lives. It significantly impacts our ability to eat, speak and even sleep comfortably, but it often goes away within a few days, right? What happens when it doesn’t and worsens? This is known as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder.
The Temporomandibular Joint is the joint connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorder occurs when there’s a dysfunction or misalignment in this joint, leading to jaw stiffness, clicking or popping sounds, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, headaches, and ear pain. TMJ is often caused by several factors that include teeth grinding, clenching, trauma, stress, or misalignment of the jaw.
So, the question still lingers, how can Physiotherapy help?
You wouldn’t think twice about seeing a physio for your ankle joint, so why is it different for your jaw? The TMJ, like all the other joints in your body, are made of joint surfaces, cartilage discs and supported by muscles and tendons. And of course, when it comes to joints, physios are the experts.
So, while many people turn to medications or surgical interventions, physiotherapy is the non-invasive and effective approach to managing and relieving long-term jaw pain.
Through gentle, hands-on techniques such as massage and mobilisation, our physios can release tension in the jaw muscles and increase blood circulation to alleviate pain and promote healing.
Like any other muscle, strategic exercises can help to strengthen the jaw muscles and improve flexibility, whilst also aligning the jaw correctly. Through these personalised exercises, physio aims to reduce tension in the jaw, combat behaviours that affect TMJ and reduce pain.
Jaw pain is also commonly associated with poor posture. Through physio, our team can identify postural issues and educate you to help correct your posture, reducing pressure on the TMJ.
Jaw pain can be extremely debilitating and can impact your life. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment that can get to the source of your pain, bring you relief and provide you with long-term solutions to reduce its recurrence. So, if you or a family member are experiencing jaw pain, don’t wait – get in touch with our team this week.