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What is TMJ dysfunction?

Temporomandibular (TMJ) dysfunction is inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw bone to the skull, causing pain and impaired function.

Massage and realignment of the temporomandibular jointAbove: Massage and realignment of the temporomandibular joint

The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body, and can be affected by a range of problems. Patients with a TMJ disorder often suffer from recurring headaches or chronic pain.

Our specialised physiotherapists at Manchester Physio focus on promoting recovery and restoring physical function of the head, neck and jaw.

What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?

TMJ dysfunction can occur for no particular reason or be a part of a more complex problem. There is usually more than one factor involved. Factors that may cause TMJ dysfunction include:
  • Trauma such as a motor accident
  • Cross bite
  • Stress / nervous habits
  • Clenching and grinding of teeth
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Posture

Diagnosis of TMJ Dysfunction

If you suspect you have TMJ dysfunction, your GP will conduct a thorough physical examination to confirm a diagnosis. Your GP may refer you to a neurologist or an ear, nose and throat specialist for further examination if necessary.

Massage and realignment of the temporomandibular joint by experienced physiotherapistAbove: Massage and realignment of the temporomandibular joint by experienced physiotherapist

What are the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?

Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may include:
  • Pain in the ears, temples or neck
  • Clicking, locking or popping of the jaw
  • Severe recurring headaches
  • Occasional hearing loss
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Restricted opening of the jaw
  • Dizziness or ringing of the ears

Physiotherapy for TMJ dysfunction

At Manchester Physio, we have specialist physiotherapists who are experienced at assessing and treating people with TMJ dysfunction.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will reduce you pain and restore range of movement and success with functional activities such as eating, talking and sleeping.

Soft tissue massage and mobilisation of the jaw to relieve stiffness and painAbove: Soft tissue massage and mobilisation of the jaw to relieve stiffness and pain

Physiotherapy treatment varies from simple advice to extensive therapy. An initial assessment with one of our specialised physiotherapists will see how your current problem is affecting your everyday activities, and a personalised treatment program will be developed which may include:
  • Prescribing exercises to relieve pain and stiffness and improve muscle strength
  • Using electrotherapy modalities such as ultrasound, TENS, muscle stimulation and heat to promote healing and physical function
  • Advising on ergonomic changes at work and at home
  • Acupuncture
  • Manipulations
  • Stress management

Massage and mobilisations of the jaw to releive stiffness and achingAbove: Massage and mobilisations of the jaw to releive stiffness and aching

Your treatment program at Manchester Physio will be structured around your goals, to ensure that you get back to everyday activities as soon as possible and make a full recovery.

For more information about how physiotherapy can help you or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.

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