“My Jaw Hurts.”
Jaw pain can be a really uncomfortable symptom due to underlying or unaddressed health issues.
When you’re experiencing substantial jaw pain, you could be experiencing a condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJD. The jaw is a common term that is also referred to as temporomandibular joints, which created the common phrase referred to as TMJ. It is in fact one of the most frequently used joint in the body.
Like other joints, TMJ can malfunction leading to what is called Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD). Temporomandibular joint inflammation, muscle imbalances and excessive or decreased mobility leads to TMJD and limit the natural functions of the jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction:
- Pain in and around the jaw
- Locking of the jaw
- Clicking with opening or closing the mouth
- Popping with opening or closing the mouth
- Jaw feels tight
- Difficulty opening the mouth fully
Possible causes for TMJ Dysfunction:
1. Trauma to the jaw or head
2. Arthritis of the jaw
3. Excessive stress
4. Habits like fingernail biting, chewing of a pen, etc.
5. Teeth grinding
6. Bad posture
7. Whiplash injuries
8. Jaw clenching
1. Avoid habits and activities that are causing increased stress to the joint (e.g. – finger biting, pen or gum chewing, etc.)
2. Eat a diet of soft foods, cut in small pieces and try to chew evenly.
3. Cold or hot compress for 10-15 minutes over the jaw can be used to help reduce swelling, pain and muscle spasm. Use a cold compress if the joint is inflamed.
4. Avoid positions that put stress on your TMJ (e.g. – chin poke posture).
5. Positioning the tongue on the roof of the mouth will take stress off your TMJ.
8. Practice stress management techniques like work pacing, deep breathing and relaxation.
Medication as prescribed by your Physician can help decrease pain and inflammation.
Dental appliances from your dentist can help reduce strain on the TMJ.
How Can a Physiotherapist Help?
- Assess to figure out the cause of your TMD.
- We can help decrease your pain.
- Education on positions that alleviate symptoms.
- We can help restore the natural movement of your jaw.
- Physiotherapist treatment will include hands-on techniques to increase movement and relieve pain, and exercises for strengthening or relaxing the TMJ muscles. Electrical modalities may also be used.
Call John at the Thorncliffe location to help this condition and start feeling better.
Nose Creek Thorncliffe Clinic
Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
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