Most people are familiar with Physiotherapists working with people after injuries, or pain, or surgeries to knee, back, ankles, wrists, shoulders, elbows, hips, and necks. One joint that our Oakville Physiotherapists treat is the TMJ. “TMJ” refers to the tempero-mandibular joint or what most people know it as; the jaw.
TMJ pain can significantly impact your life. You realize how much you use your jaw for not only eating, but smiling, yawning, laughing, and even speaking.Physiotherapy treatment and care for the TMJ is not accessed as much as it could or should be simply because many people do not know it is an option.
In addition to your dentists and other dental professionals Physiotherapy can be considered a first line of defence in the treatment of TMJ issues. It is possible to get going with Physiotherapy care for your TMJ even while waiting for referrals and other care.
What is the TMJ?
The TMJ is a joint between the bottom jaw bone (the mandible) and the skull (the temporal bone). There is a disc between the two joint spaces as well as muscles and ligaments. The movement of the TMJ requires smooth properly shaped joint spaces, as well as coordination of the muscles and the disc.
Causes of TMJ pain or misalignment
The jaw can be injured due to various things. These include trauma, overuse, grinding and clenching and posture.
These things can interact with one another as well. Most people we see in our Oakville Physiotherapy clinic for TMJ pain or issues can’t pin point a single incident. We often listen to a history of TMJ issues that come on over time and may have waxed and wained before it gets “bad enough” for them to seek Physio treatment for their TMJ.
Physio Treatment for TMJ
We will get into more detail of Physio treatment as it relates to TMJ pain in a future blog post. But in a nutshell, after a thorough history taking of how you use your TMJ, your Physio will assess your movement and muscles. The physio will then, based on your particular case provide treatment in the form of education, exercises and potentially some hands on care to the joints and muscles.
Call our North Oakville Physio clinic to see how we can help you with your TMJ issues.