TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)

What is TMJ?

TMJ is an acronym for the Temporomandibular joint. It is the joint between your upper and lower jaw. This joint comes into play every time you talk, yawn, laugh, or chew food. In common parlance, TMJ is a catch-all term for conditions affecting this joint.

What causes TMJ Dysfunction

Some common causes of TMJ dysfunction are:

  • Trauma: such as a Motor vehicle accident, sports injury, or a direct blow to the head
  • Postural habits: such as slouching at a desk with chin protruded forward for long periods of time, playing a violin, or cradling a phone between the chin and shoulder
  • Oral habits: such as nail biting, pencil chewing, or grinding your teeth during sleep
  • Dental procedures: such as those requiring prolonged jaw opening

What are the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?

Some common TMJ dysfunction symptoms are: pain in the jaw and/or the ear, clicking and popping with jaw movements, headaches, locking of the jaw in an open or closed position, and muscle spasms.

How is TMJ dysfunction treated through physiotherapy?

Based on the findings of your assessment, your treatments could include a hot/cold pack, electrical stimulation, soft tissue mobilisation, joint mobilisation, exercise protocols, acupuncture, and IMS. If an occlusal appliance (splint) is deemed necessary, you will be referred to a dentist.