Research has shown that a multidisciplinary team including your doctor, dentist, and physical therapist is the best option for treating the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is where the lower jawbone attaches to the skull to allow the mouth to open and close. Similar to any other joint in the body (knee, shoulder, or ankle), the TMJ has muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and even a disc that affects its function when these structures don’t work correctly, it can cause pain in the jaw, head, and neck. TMJ Dysfunction, also known as TMJ, can often be attributed to the muscles not working properly from chewing; catching or tearing of the articular disc; or a combination of both.
TMJ Treatment will include a 1-on-1, private initial evaluation with a physical therapist. Treatment will focus on identifying the underlying cause of the pain, then addressing areas of muscle tightness or changes in tone; manual stretches of the jaw and neck; and strengthening exercises to support the head and neck. Self-care techniques and a comprehensive home exercise program are essential components to long-term success.