TMJ dysfunction, or TMJ, stands for problems with the temporomandibular joint. These are the joints that allow us to chew, yawn, and talk. We use these joints more frequently than most other joints in our bodies.

A TMJ Dysfunction diagnosis is usually made by a dentist after hearing the patient complain of symptoms commonly associated with this disorder.

Symptoms of TMJ:

  • Frequent Headaches
  • Clicking, popping, catching at the TMJ
  • Fatigue and tightness of the facial and neck muscles
  • Pain at jaw with chewing, yawning, or at rest.
  • Limited ability to open mouth wide

How can Physical Therapy Help?

Physical Therapists are trained in the mechanics of the TMJ and surrounding muscles and joints.  The therapist will evaluate your head, neck and jaw mechanics and posture. From these findings and individualized treatment program will be developed. This will include education, exercises, treatment, and self-management strategies.

Goals of Therapy:

  • Relieve pain
  • Restore optimal TMJ function

Research shows that “over 50% of TMJ dysfunction patients treated with conservative care have few or no ongoing symptoms” (www.aaop.org)

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