Receive FREE newsletters, information on relevant topics, upcoming events and more!

We respect your email privacy

« ~Deep Breathing for Pain | Main | ~Music and Mood »

~TMJ (Jaw Pain) Basics

Here is another post from our intern.  She is learning more about some of the special problems we see.  Marnie

The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint where the jaw and skull bones meet.  TMJ syndrome occurs when that joint is impaired.  Causes range from teeth alignment to poor posture or even stress. Just like any joint in the body, arthritis (breakdown of the joint and/or bony surfaces) can occur there as well. TMJ syndrome occurs when there is nerve, muscle, or joint damage.  Women are more at risk to develop this issue.  Some of the more common causes are poor posture, grinding teeth, increased stress/anxiety, or even too much gum chewing. 
Symptoms can be severe and may include:
  • jaw, neck, tongue, face and/or shoulder pain
  • jaw clicking or popping
  • ear pain or cracking sounds in the ears / fullness in ears / tinnitus
  • headaches
  • blurry vision, dizziness
  • soreness in neck/face muscles
  • locking of jaw
Many do not know that physical therapy can be very helpful for this condition.  Physical therapy is useful by correcting posture, strengthening jaw/neck muscles, increasing flexibility and jaw/neck motion.  PT can help you learn things to do at home such as using ice packs, eating softer foods, and even reducing stress. 
Melissa Hickman SPT

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend