Jaw Pain

Is Physiotherapy The Answer To Jaw Pain?

Posted on Posted in Temporomandibular Joint

The jaw or the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is a very important and often-neglected part of the body. The health and function of the jaw have direct implications on your overall health. Physiotherapy treatments have been proved to reduce the severity of jaw pain and restore the normal movement of the TMJ. Let’s see how physiotherapy is the right answer to jaw pain.

  1. Passive Joint mobilizations

As the name suggests, this does not require any efforts from the patient. It is the physiotherapist who produces gentle movement in the patient to achieve a therapeutic effect. This method is designed to:

  • Increase flexibility of the jaw

  • Decrease stiffness and tightness

  • Improve lymphatic drainage

Joint mobilization involves performing a back and forth oscillatory motion of the TMJ to facilitate jaw movement and reduce the locking effect. This may include techniques such as myofascial release, craniosacral techniques, and manual therapy.

  1. Massage Therapy

It is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints that helps in alleviating pain in the affected part. Gentle massage is done in the areas surrounding the jaw to induce a therapeutic effect and produce a general feeling of well-being. Massage therapy not only helps in relieving pain, but also reduces the state of anxiety, heart-beat rate, and blood pressure.

  1. Muscle strengthening techniques

Performing these exercises will strengthen the masseter muscles – the muscles responsible for opening and closing the mouth. It also increases the range of motion of the jaw. Both these effects ultimately help in relieving jaw pain. Your physiotherapist will suggest simple exercises of the jaw to aid in ease of jaw movement. One of the simple exercises is to:

  • Relax your shoulders and lower jaw

  • Make an “M” sound with your mouth closed. Do not let the upper and lower teeth touch. Perform to and fro motion of your movable lower jaw

  • Open your mouth as wide as possible, without straining yourself. Again move oscillate your lower jaw. Repeat this exercise at least ten times for optimal movement.

TMJ exercises may also include correction of posture and neck treatment and biomechanical analysis such as TMJ movement pattern and timing correction.

  1. Education and Awareness

Your physiotherapist will make you aware of the common causes of TMJ pain and the associated symptoms. He will enlighten you on the ways of taking care of your jaw so that the pain does not relapse.

Do you also suffer from jaw pain? Do you find difficulty in chewing food? Then worry not, we at Willow Park Physio & Health Clinic offer several, quality services to treat TMJ pain. Our physiotherapy staff has more than 30 years of combined clinical experience, that can certainly help in relieving your jaw pain.

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