Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJD can cause pain, discomfort, clicking or popping noises, difficulty chewing, pain with opening mouth wide or night pain.
Physiotherapy can be a helpful treatment option for TMJD, it aims to improve the function and mobility of the joint and surrounding muscles.
Here are some ways physiotherapy can help with TMJD:
- Soft tissue mobilisation: Physiotherapists may use hands-on techniques to massage and stretch the muscles around the jaw, which can help to reduce pain and improve flexibility.
- Therapeutic exercises: Specific exercises may be prescribed to help strengthen the muscles around the jaw and improve range of motion. This can include exercises for the neck, shoulder, and upper back, as these areas can also impact the function of the jaw.
- Posture correction: Poor posture can contribute to TMJD, so physiotherapists may work with patients to improve their posture, which can help to reduce pain and improve jaw function.
- Heat and ice therapy: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Education: Physios can educate patients on ways to prevent TMJD and manage symptoms at home. This can include strategies for stress reduction, proper jaw alignment, and other self-care techniques.
It’s important to note that the treatment of TMJD may require a multidisciplinary approach, and physiotherapy may be used in combination with other treatments such as medications, dental interventions, and relaxation techniques. If you’re experiencing symptoms of TMJD, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional or Physiotherapist who specialises in the treatment of TMJ who can help you develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.