TMJ Pain

TMJ stands for Temporo (for temporal bone, the upper part of the jaw), Mandibular (the bottom part of the jaw) Joint.  So we all have TMJ, but those with a problem have TMD (temporo-mandibular dysfunction).  The jaw is interesting in that it has 2 joints (left and right) that have to coordinate and engage simultaneously, so much of therapy is often working to create this balance.

Stand in front of a mirror and open your mouth.  Observe if your lower jaw opens straight down or if it veres to one side.  If it veres to one side, that side is the tighter side and perhaps the other side is the weaker side.  So we work on the 4 muscles of the jaw and the joints and adjacent areas to allow for full, symmetrical, stable, pain-free opening.

Posture and alignment of the head over the spine play a huge role in allowing the jaw to have an inherently more aligned and relaxed position.  There is a neck muscle called the sternocleidomastoid, which attaches just behind the jaw line.  If they are tight, they will pull on the jaw and head and disturb the alignment of the jaw.

To help align the neck, jaw, and your base of support, we utilize hands-on techniques, exercises, education, awareness tools, taping, and modalities (machines to decrease inflammation).  You will learn how to minimize strain to the jaw when eating, talking, sleeping, and just being.

Interestingly, there is a strong relationship of jaw pain with pelvic pain.  The majority of women who come to see me with pelvic pain also have jaw pain or problems.  It may be necessary to address both areas to have complete resolution of your primary problem.

Call today for a TMJ pain treatment appointment in Reno!
Reach our Reno / Sparks Physical Therapy Office at: (775) 870-1511