Temporomandibular joint (tmj)

Cracking? Pain? Locking?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can be caused by temporomandibular joint, cervical, or even craniocervical dysfunctions.

Like all joints, the TMJs have articular surfaces, synovial fluid, a capsule, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and even an articular disc. These structures can be affected by osteoarthritis, inflammation, capsular retraction, loose ligament, muscle tension, or locked jaw caused by disc displacement.

Patients may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches/neck or facial pain
  • Numbness or tingling around the jaw
  • Pain when chewing, clenching teeth, or yawning
  • Cracking or locking of the jaw
  • Clicking or popping sound/grating sensation when opening or closing the mouth or when chewing
  • Limited movement of the jaw
  • A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together, etc.

At Physio Extra, these symptoms can be treated with physical therapy provided by our skilled physiotherapists who specialize in this field.

Treatment will begin with a physical evaluation assessing your posture, range of motion in the cervical/craniocervical and TMJ regions, muscle strength, and ligament stability.

The physiotherapy treatments include:

  • Manual therapy approaches to restore normal movement
  • Muscle release techniques on the temporalis, suboccipital, and intraoral muscles (masseter, medial and lateral pterygoid muscles)
  • Exercise programs to maintain the progress made
  • Postural education (axial extension to decrease craniocervical compression)
  • Electrotherapy (ultrasound, TENS, etc.)
  • Prevention advice will be provided throughout the treatment

These approaches are used to reduce problems, alleviate symptoms, and restore your TMJ health.