TMJ is pain and tenderness due to dysfunction of the joint (jaw articulation) and surrounding musculature. Other symptoms associated with TMJ are: headache, ear pain, mandibular joint pain upon opening and closing mouth (worse when chewing), joint sounds, neck stiffness, ringing in the ears and nasal congestion. TMJ conditions can be separated into extra-articular and intra-articular. The cause of extra-articular conditions range from cervical spine involvement to dental abnormalities, while causes for Intra-articular conditions include inflammation of the joint capsule and damage or displacement of the articular disc. Population-wise, females suffer from TMJ pain at a higher rate than men. Between 85-90% of individuals will suffer from TMJ pain in their lifetime.
Once we confirm that TMJ syndrome is the diagnosis, we turn to treatment which may include:
Myofascial trigger point therapy – to address the inflammation and pain brought on by the muscle tension and muscle knots. Mobilization of the temporomandibular joint to address joint dysfunction and joint capsule inflammation. KLaser therapy to decrease inflammation within the joint and the muscles, decrease pain, and increase healing rate. Prescribed exercises to return normal range of motion and normal gait to the joint.