Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is where your lower jaw (mandible) attaches to the base of your skull (on each side of your head). If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth, you can feel these joints move. The TMJ acts as a hinge allowing your mouth to open and close and move from side to side when chewing.
What are TMJ disorders?
TMJ disorders affect one or both TMJs and the muscles and tissues surrounding them. They can cause pain, joint noises (clicking or grinding noises) and can restrict jaw movement and function. Often , symptoms are temporary and do not require treatment. However some people do require treatment, which can include non-surgical (in most cases) or surgical management.
Common Causes of TMJ Disorders:
Often the cause of a TMJ problem is unknown. In many cases there are several factors causing the problem. Common causes of TMJ trouble are:
- Trauma resulting from an injury caused by a knock to the jaw. This can cause injury to the soft tissue or bone of the joint.
- Displacement of the cartilage (meniscus) within the jaw joint can lead to clicking or locking of the joint with limitation of mouth opening.
- Many people clench or grind their teeth, either during the day or at night while asleep. This is caused by tension in the chewing muscles which can become painful because of fatigue, and lead to overloading of the jaw joints, causing pain the joints themselves. This is often aggravated by stress.
- A TMJ disorder can be worsened by a bad occlusion (bite).
The jaw joints can be affected by degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Jay is a Senior Physiotherapist at our Clinic. Jay treats a variety of TMJ Conditions including:
- Neck Pain and Injuries
- Jaw and Facial Pain and Injuries
- Headaches and Migraines
- Referred pain/buzzing in the ear
- Bells Palsy
- Facial Neuralgia
TMJ Services Include:
- Postural assessment and correction
- Appropriate muscle strengthening and exercise programs
- Manual therapy/joint mobilization
- Soft tissue techniques
- Ergonomic advice