Specialist Physio Treating Jaw Pain In Wembley
The jaw or temporomandibular joints (commonly known as TMJ) are the most used joints in your body. There’s one on each side of your face, in front of each ear, and they’re used constantly – for eating, talking, breathing and facial expression.
When our patients from Wembley, Subiaco, Floreat, and Leederville present to our physiotherapy clinic with jaw pain, most commonly they have temporomanibular disorder (TMD).
What is TMD ?
TMDs are musculoskeletal disorders (affecting muscle, bone and joints) that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. For some people their condition causes long-term, persistent and debilitating pain, interferes with their daily life and often results in high levels of distress and anxiety.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms associated with TMD can include:
- jaw pain or discomfort, especially when eating
- decreased jaw motion
- joint clicking or locking
- neck and facial pain
- ear pain and ringing in the ear
What causes TMD?
TMD can be difficult to diagnose as there is a range of causes. Triggers include:
- jaw injuries
- jaw clenching and teeth grinding, often associated with stress
- anatomical deformities of the teeth and jaw
- arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- dental work that changes your bite
How will the physiotherapist know if I have a TMD?
Our Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist will make a diagnosis of TMD from your description of symptoms, the history of the condition, other medical history and an examination of the problem areas, including the head, neck, face, and jaw.
How Specialist Physiotherapy can help
The temporomandibular joint is different from the body’s other joints. The combination of hinge and sliding motions makes this joint among the most complicated in the body. Also, the tissues that make up the temporomandibular joint differ from other load-bearing joints, like the knee or hip. Because of its complex movement and unique makeup, the jaw joint and its controlling muscles can pose a tremendous challenge to both patients and health care providers when problems arise. Our Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist has had specific training in the management of patients with TMDs.
How is it treated?
Experts strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments where possible. Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw, or joint, or involve surgery. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth. Physiotherapy is a conservative, reversible treatment. There is increasing evidence that physiotherapy is helpful in reducing pain and increasing jaw function for patients with TMDs. However, if necessary, other treatment options for TMD include medication, intraoral appliances, injections, and surgery.
What techniques do we use to treat TMDs?
Following a complete assessment of the problem and, with your collaboration, our Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist will set out a full treatment, education and exercise programme.
Firstly, it is important for you to understand your condition and we will provide an explanation about TMD and education on anatomy, function, pain physiology and contributing factors to TMD.
Hands-on treatment may include a combination of massage, passive joint mobilisation, manipulation and stretching. Acupuncture or dry needling may also be applied to help relieve the symptoms. Home exercises are an important intervention and these may include postural correction exercises. We can also advise on long term self-management strategies including joint and muscle stress reduction and how to manage flare-ups.
How can I prevent jaw pain?
You can relieve jaw stress and the symptoms of TMD by:
- avoiding grinding and clenching your teeth (some people find it helpful to wear a mouthguard while they sleep to prevent this)
- chewing with both sides of your mouth, and taking smaller bites
- avoiding chewing gum
- avoiding biting your nails and other hard objects like pens
- avoiding resting your chin on your hand
- avoiding cradling your phone between your neck and shoulder
A Local Physio in Wembley
Don’t suffer from TMD symptoms any longer - book an appointment at The Neck & Jaw Clinic today. Situated in Wembley, The Neck & Jaw Clinic is conveniently located for Subiaco, Floreat, Leederville and the wider Perth area.
Contact us now
(08) 6500 0045