WHY DOES MY JAW HURT?

It’s no surprise that so many of us often put up with jaw pain because we rarely think of the jaw joint as something that can hurt as bad as our shoulders, knees or ankles.

If you were to suffer pain in your shoulder, knee or ankle, you wouldn’t think twice about going to see your physio. So why is it that we shrug off jaw pain so easily? We’ll let you think about that one…

First things first, your jaw is essentially a hinge joint and that hinge joint has an official name. The name is Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) for short. So, when we reference TMJ anywhere in this blog, we just mean your jaw joint. Got it?

Here’s a few reasons why one could develop jaw pain:

– A major blow to the face
– A stiff neck
– Grinding and clenching your teeth
– Poor posture
– Post major dental work

Here’s a quick question; does your jaw click when you open and close your mouth? For example, even when chewing your food at the dinner table, you may be able to hear your jaw clicking with each chew – this may be a sign of a TMJ disorder. And if you’ve ever experienced what is often referred to as ‘lock jaw’, you guessed it, lock jaw is essentially caused by a problem with your TMJ.

Problems with your TMJ can lead to dysfunction of the jaw, stiffness, as well as ear symptoms similar to Tinnitus. Each of these can then cause severe pain overtime and the pain can become debilitating in daily life. Definitely not something you want to have all day long while you’re trying to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

The problem with jaw pain is that in most cases, the pain isn’t just in your jaw, it can radiate around the jaw causing pain in your neck, face and your head. The good news? Your local physiotherapist can often be the best place to start. The team at Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy are highly experienced when it comes to treating and managing TMJ disorders getting to the source of the issue and bringing you fast pain relief.

Your TMJ is similar to all other joints in your body. It’s made up of joint surfaces, cartilage discs and supported by muscles and tendons, so it should be treated just like any other joint issue – physiotherapists are your best port of call for this. Treatment by your physiotherapist can:

– Ease pain
– Relieve stiffness, and
– Improve function and mobility

When you come to our practice, your physiotherapist will get to know your history, take you through a thorough assessment process and answer any of your questions.

Our approach for TMJ problems and jaw pain includes:

– Gentle hands-on physiotherapy to improve your range of motion
– Exercises that help you align your jaw correctly
– Techniques to strengthen the muscles around your jaw, and
– Education around poor posture and the need to stretch and move regularly.

Jaw pain can be extremely debilitating. If you, or a family member, are experiencing pain or discomfort, don’t wait – get help from an experienced physiotherapist.

You can be confident our qualified and highly skilled physiotherapists will do all they can to get to the source of your pain and bring relief.

Call Progressive Sport and Spinal Physiotherapy today on 47217798 or email: info@progressiverehab.com.au

 

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.