Understanding TMJ and how physiotherapy can help you treat it

A frequent issue that prohibits the jaw’s natural operations is a temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ disorder. It might cause pain while chewing and opening the mouth. It now affects over a millions  of individuals over the world. It’s commonly referred to as TMJ, which stands for the name of the joint.

Women are more affected by TMJ than males, especially those between the ages of 20 and 40. It can lead to a variety of issues, including persistent jaw clenching, poor posture, and mismatched teeth, as well as fractures. And disorders such as lockjaw, in which the muscles around the jaw spasm and make it difficult to open the mouth easily.

What is TMJ?

A common ailment, temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder, can hinder our jaw from operating normally. It might be chewing and opening the mouth. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the hinge joint in front of our ears that binds our mouth to our skull. The Temporomandibular Joint Discomfort therapy regulates jaw movement and helps you yawn, talk, and chew without pain by opening and closing your mouth side-by-side.

Cause of TMJ.

Bad postural habits.

It is one of the most common causes of TMJ since we spend most of our time at our desks, where we commonly hold our heads too far forward while working. Other factors might also contribute to poor posture. Working at a commuter station, sitting in a car for lengthy periods, and carrying the child on the same hip. All of these things might create jaw difficulties by putting our heads in an unnatural position. The disc, muscles, and ligaments of the TMJ are put under strain by our forward head posture. The jaw will have to stay open, and the chewing muscles will get overworked.

Chronic jaw clenching.

Many people clench their mouths when sleeping, as you may have seen. It frequently occurs as a result of stress. Many individuals clench their teeth throughout the day, particularly when they are under pressure. This will put a strain on the TMJ and the muscles that surround it.


A lower jaw fracture may result in TMJ if someone is involved in a violent incident involving the head or face. TMJ might cause discomfort and stiffness for a long period, even after the fracture has healed.


Following jaw and face surgery, persons might experience a loss of TMJ movement and function.

Misaligned teeth.

When your teeth are misaligned, the TMJ is put under extra stress during everyday jaw actions like chewing and talking.


The jaw clicking and persistent discomfort occur when the disc or soft-tissue cushion between the ball and the socket of the TMJ becomes displaced.


It occurs when the jaw muscles spasm and the jaw cannot be fully open. It can happen due to tetanus, jaw, and radiation therapy to the neck and face. TMJ can also be caused by TMJ arthritis.

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Symptoms of TMJ.

TMJ’s symptoms will stay for a couple of days, but first, you will feel jaw pain. If you are going through any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

–        Nausea.

–        Numbness in the left arm.

–        Shortness of breath.

–        Chest pain.

–        Left-arm pain.

–        Dizziness.

TMJ can cause lockjaw or become trapped in one position. You can get headaches or have trouble when chewing your meal. You could find it difficult to open your mouth.

You will feel the following symptoms.

–        Headaches.

–        Locking jaw.

–        Jaw fatigue.

–        Neck pain.

–        Jaw pain.

–        Ringing in the ear.

–        Popping sound in the jaw.

–        Difficulty while opening the mouth, eating or talking.

How can a physiotherapist help with TMJ?

TMJ physiotherapy can help you regain normal jaw mobility while also reducing discomfort. Your physical therapist will prepare a treatment plan that is appropriate for your situation. Treatment might involve the following;

Posture correction.

You exert greater tension on the muscles behind your chin if you are used to sitting with your head in the increased forward posture. It’s possible that while you’re sleeping, your lower jaw can move backward, and your mouth will open, resulting in TMJ. If you are overworking your jaw muscles, you should try to keep your mouth closed all of the time. Your therapist will educate you on how to correct your posture as well.

Improves jaw movement.

Find a physiotherapist who can provide competent, hands-on treatments to improve movement while reducing discomfort in joints and tissues. Physiotherapists will stretch the jaw and restore joint and muscle flexibility with the help of manual therapy. It can break up scar tissue that might form during an injury.

Qualified physiotherapist will also teach you low-head movements that do not put a strain on your TMJ. It will strengthen your jaw muscles and restore pain-free and natural tendencies to your jaw.

Pain treatment.

If you feel any pain, your physiotherapist might recommend treatments like ultrasound or electrical stimulation to help you feel better.

Solidifies hypermobile joints.

Many people suffer from TMJ that swiftly advances away from them in an unfavourable pattern. Your physiotherapist can diagnose the issue and recommend a therapy and exercise programme to strengthen weak muscles and enhance your natural movement pattern.


A physiotherapist in Calgary can help you alleviate TMJ pain with acupuncture, thermal modalities, and moderate manual treatments.



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