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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder – A Pain In The Jaw

By March 28, 2023April 4th, 2023Physiotherapy

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Heat and ice therapy: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
  5. 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.

Meredith Chapple

Meredith graduated from the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2017.  She has worked with several Rugby Union clubs and enjoys helping athletes with acute injuries and their return to sport. As an avid rock climber, she has turned her attention to managing rock climbing injuries including wrist, elbow, shoulder and hips. With all her patients, she aims to inspire them to return to their favourite activity and live an active life. Meredith also teaches Clinical Pilates which has helped developed keen body awareness and skill in incorporating mindfulness and exercises as a part of all rehabilitative programs. She is passionate about the connections in the body and has pursued on-going clinical education in dry needling, exercise rehab, TMJ dysfunction and Women’s Health. She enjoys working with Women’s Health patients, chronic pain and people looking to get active. She strives to educate patients on their conditions, develop a suitable exercise program and use manual therapy techniques for the best results. Outside of the clinic Meredith has a passion for running, rock climbing, yoga and playing ukulele.

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