Our temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn.
Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
The cause of TMD is not fully known although dentists believe symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of your jaw or with the parts of the joint itself which can be affected by trauma, grinding of teeth, posture and eating. Most people who seek help with their TMD describe a condition that came on slowly and gets worse over time.
TMD symptoms can be mild or quite severe. They can make it difficult to eat solid food.
What are the common symptoms of TMD?
- Pain in the TMJ joint – just in front of your ear hole.
- Painful popping or clicking
- Locking of the jaw in an open position
- Muscle spasm at the angle of their jaw and on the side of their head
How can physiotherapy help this condition?
Physiotherapists can use manual therapy techniques to get the joint moving properly again. They can help with treatments and exercises that strengthen weak muscles and improve your natural movement pattern such as intra- and extra-oral massage, stretching and mobilisation techniques. Acupuncture or dry needling can also help reduce pain and promote muscle relaxation.
Our physiotherapists can also offer you an individualised home-care programme which could include strategies to reduce daytime oral habits and improve jaw and spine posture, jaw relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene and other advice to reduce loading on the temporomandibular joints. These would include self-massage techniques, stretching and self-mobilising exercises
If you have been diagnosed with TMD, our physiotherapists at Home Physio Group can create a personalised program for you to help you with pain relief and recovery.
For more information please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively, please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.