Jaw Physiotherapy

the muscles that make up the jaw can also be treated using physiotherapy

Jaw Physiotherapy

The jaw isn’t somewhere that many would consider the right kind of body part to benefit from physiotherapy. Most would presume that a dentist should be the professional dealing with jaw-related problems, however, the muscles that make up the jaw can also be treated using physiotherapy.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is that hinge-like area of your jaws that you’ll be able to feel just in front of your ears. These hinges help you to eat, speak, yawn and even play instruments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is TMD & How Jaw Physio Can Help Treating It?

Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) is quite a broad way to explain a whole host of problems related to the jaw. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Pain in TMJ joint or muscles
  • Decreased jaw movement when trying to open the mouth
  • Lockjaw
  • Noises in the jaw joint
  • Painful chewing or regular jaw-related headaches

Your TMJ is so close to your brain, neck and ears that it could cause a host of issues like tinnitus, headaches, neck pain and even earache.

How Can Physio Help?

Believe it or not, but physio is an effective treatment for people that are suffering from painful TMD. Exercises can be used to improve the function and movement of your TMJ and to bring down pain and swelling.

If you go for jaw physio, you should expect to do exercises that help to correct your posture, manual therapy like stretching and massages and jaw movement exercises. You might also encounter ultrasound treatments, injections and relaxation exercises.

Keep in mind that because your TMJ is a big part of both your jaw and mouth, that your physio might get in touch with a dentist or orthodontist to work alongside him/her while they come up with your customised treatment plan.

Is there a way to prevent TMD? While there’s nothing you can do to completely prevent getting TMD through an accident or other trauma, it’s always a good idea to be aware of how you hold your jaw and to relax if you are clenching. Always try to improve your overall posture and try to cut your food into smaller pieces. Where possible, try and stick to soft foods rather than hard, chewy food that will make your jaw work harder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes TMD?

Although there is still a lot that we don’t understand about TMD, there is definitely a direct correlation between TMD and the following causes:

  • Trauma: Any kind of trauma delivered to the jaw, the TMJ or close by will cause pain and discomfort, which could become worse depending on the severity and placement of the injury. A punch to the face or car accidents are prime examples of this
  • Repetitive movements: Repetitive actions like clenching your teeth or grinding your jaw while your sleep
  • Stress
  • Arthritis

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