September Newsletter- Jaw/TMJ pain
Lifecare Mount Pleasant Physiotherapy
Acupuncture, Headaches, Acupuncture Clinic
Jaw pain is very uncomfortable and can often be associated with ear pain, neck pain and face pain.
Most clients’ experience; ‘clicking’ &/or ‘locking’ of their jaw, just jaw pain, or jaw pain and neck pain (associated with a 'worn out' / degenerative neck joints).
Other symptoms can include: ear pain, tinnitus type sounds, headaches and grinding of teeth.
Often neck pain and headaches occur before the jaw pain.
Other common symptoms include:-
• Pain on chewing, yawning or opening the mouth widely.
• Clicking noises on opening and closing the mouth.
• Difficulty or inability to open the mouth fully.
• Locking of the jaw.
• Stiff neck (cervical spine)
• Direct trauma to TMJ/jaw or poor mechanics (i.e. over bite)
• Jaw muscle imbalance
• Grinding your jaw at night in your sleep.
• Poor posture, sleeping on your tummy
• Degeneration, wear and tear.
Keeping the neck joints mobile and moving through their full range with gentle mobilisation (gentle hands on treatment, no cracking of neck joints)
• Ensuring the neck/jaw muscles are not tight and spasming
• Addressing the neck joints and muscles responsible for referring headaches
• Gentle jaw physio to make sure the joint is gliding along its correct line of movement (outside and inside—with a gloved hand!)
• Exercises to help align the jaw when opening and closing with symmetry
• Exercises to strengthen the endurance muscles around the jaw
• Considerable retraining for sitting at work, poor posture quickly returns symptoms. Good posture must be checked hourly, readjustment should only take half a minute.
• Night Guard/Splint
– The most comfortable type is one designed for the upper teeth/jaw. Guards
on the lower jaw are less tolerable for sleeping.
- If you have had your problem a long time, an Oral-facial surgeon is usually the better person to mould your guard.
Leigh’s passion outside of work is martial arts. Many years ago when she was learning martial arts, she took an ‘upper cut’ to her lower jaw whilst sparing. This caused some cartilage damage 5 days before an important final physiotherapy oral exam! With a locked jaw she had to find a way to fix her own jaw. That was the start of Leigh’s journey to find a way to cope with a clicking jaw, and occasional locking jaw. She is still pain free and has some occasional clicking which is easily managed with gentle exercises. Yes she lives by what she teaches.
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