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Jaw Pain (TMD/TMJ)

Find relief from TMJ and jaw pain at HealthQuest Physical Therapy!

Do you suffer from headaches, grinding of your teeth, clicking of your jaw or even ear pain? These can all be signs of Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, also known as the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). This a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury to the TMJ, which is the joint between your jaw and skull. The injured temporomandibular joint leads to pain with chewing, clicking, and popping of the jaw; swelling on the sides of the face; nerve inflammation; headaches; tooth grinding; and sometimes dislocation of the temporomandibular joint.

The focus of physical therapy for temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) is relaxation, stretching, and releasing tight muscles and scar tissue. Physical therapy is an especially important part of recovery from TM joint surgery, as it helps minimize scar tissue formation and muscle tightness.

Treating TMD with physical therapy is an effective method to relieve pain and discomfort. When you come to HealthQuest Physical Therapy for your evaluation and treatment, you can expect your therapist to analyze your jaw mobility and release muscle tension in the head and neck region. Our physical therapy team will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your TMD, neck, thoracic spine and shoulder girdle to determine the structures causing TMJ symptoms.  Our patients are receiving immediate relief with physical therapy.

What causes TMJ syndrome?

Multiple factors contribute to the muscle tightness and dysfunction that characterize this condition. Most often, poor posture and neck alignment change the pull of the muscles that make your jaw move. This causes painful grinding and irritation of the TMJ. Other causes may include:

  • Poor alignment of or trauma to the teeth or jaw
  • Teeth grinding
  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • Arthritis or other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders
  • Excessive gum chewing

A lot can be done to help TMJ, first starting with a thorough evaluation of your problem with our expert physical therapists. Once the root cause of your problem has been discovered, a comprehensive plan can be developed to quickly relieve your pain and restore natural movement to your TMJ. Furthermore, our physical therapists will teach you techniques for regaining normal jaw movement for long lasting results.

What are the symptoms of TMD?

The following are the most common symptoms of TMD. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Jaw discomfort or soreness (often most prevalent in the morning or late afternoon)
  • Headaches
  • Pain radiating behind the eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck, and/or back
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears (not caused by an infection of the inner ear canal)
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Mouth motions are limited
  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity of the teeth without the presence of an oral health disease
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers
  • A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together

The symptoms of TMD may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult one of our Physical Therapists or your dentist or physician for a thorough diagnosis.  Want to learn more? Check out our conditions library.

Call today to schedule your FREE injury or pain assessment (855) 477-8463. Offering locations in Oakland, Macomb and Lapeer Counties throughout Southeast Michigan. We are locally owned and operated rehabilitation health facilities, where our patients are more than a number…they are family!