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.