TMJ refers to your temporomandibular joints, two joints located on either side of your head. The temporomandibular joints are responsible for controlling the movement of your lower jaw as it moves forward, backward, and side to side.

The temporomandibular joints work with your muscles, ligaments, and jawbone, allowing you to chew, speak, and swallow. Issues with any of these structures can restrict the movement of your jaw, resulting in a TMJ disorder.

Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Aching near your ear
  • Pain near the temporomandibular joints
  • Painful chewing
  • Facial pain

The symptoms of a TMJ disorder can be quite painful. Some patients experience locking of the TMJ joints, which makes it difficult to open or close the mouth. Some patients also experience a clicking or grating sensation when chewing or opening their mouths.

If you experience any of these painful symptoms, High Line Rehab PT can help you determine the cause of your condition.

The TMJ performs a number of complex motions. Damage to any of the structures that support your jaw movement can result in a TMJ disorder. Some of these potential causes include:

  • Jaw dislocation
  • Arthritis
  • Jaw injuries
  • Poor tooth or jaw alignment
  • Teeth grinding

In some cases, the exact cause of a TMJ disorder is unclear. During your visit, your physical therapist works with you to determine the different factors contributing to your condition and the best options for effective treatment.

How are TMJ disorders treated?

If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, treatment begins with an in-depth evaluation. Your physical therapist examines your jaw and discusses your symptoms. If you experience clicking or grating that isn’t accompanied by jaw pain, you might not require immediate treatment.

If your condition is painful, High Line Rehab PT offers a number of safe and effective manual therapies, including myofascial release. Myofascial release is a hands-on therapy that uses light pressure to release areas of tissue that are stiff and restricted.

Therapeutic exercises are also an effective treatment for TMJ disorders. Therapeutic exercises help you increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles that support your jaw movement.

To find out which TMJ treatment is right for you, call High Line Rehab PT or book an appointment online today.