Eating and chewing shouldn’t be painful. If it is, you may be suffering from a Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder. The temporomandibular (pronounced tem-puh-roe-man-DIB-u-lur) is the joint that connects your jaw bone and the skull, and pain can occur in the joint itself or the muscles that control the movement of the jaw. People who suffer from TMJ disorder may have troubles eating, laughing, yawning, and even talking. Luckily, there are a number of treatment options that can help.
Panther Sports Medicine has physiotherapists at all of our Calgary locations who can assess the biomechanical function of the jaw and identify treatments that will help restore the movement and relieve the pain.
They will then do mechanical physio treatment, as well as teach you exercises that will help you get back to normal. At every step of the way, we provide a personalized approach focused on making sure you feel educated and in control.
If you have any of the below symptoms, you’ll want to talk to your physiotherapist about the possibility of a TMJ disorder:
Pain or tenderness of your jaw
Locking of the joint
Aching pain in and around your ear
Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
Difficult opening or closing your mouth
Clicking or grating sensation when you open your mouth
Aching facial pain
Chronic neck pain
What Causes TMJ?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of TMJ, some genetic or medical, others as a result of bad habits. The exact cause of a person's TMJ disorder may be difficult to determine. It might be from a past jaw or head injury – sometimes it can take years for the TMJ symptoms to develop.
Grinding and clenching of teeth is also a common reason for TMJ, though it is important to note that just because you clench your teeth doesn’t mean you’ll develop issues. People with arthritis and certain connective tissue diseases are also prone to developing TMJ.
Surprisingly, bad posture can also contribute to TMJ. People that have a posture that keeps their neck forward can cause the jaw muscles to drag the jaw backward. This causes strain to the jaw joint and eventually leads to pain, swelling and irritation.
During your initial visit at one of our Calgary locations, your physiotherapist will conduct an evaluation to determine the extent of the area – is it the joint that is the issue, or are there issues with the spine and/or associated jaw muscles? They’ll ask you about your medical history, include dentist visits, and also inquire about relevant eating and sleeping habits.
Your physiotherapist will develop a program for you that includes learning and practicing techniques for regaining normal jaw movement. In most cases, TMJ disorders can be addressed with learning how to relax the muscle, stretching and physiotherapy techniques such as muscle work or acupuncture. Physiotherapists may also help you adjust your neck and body posture. In some instances, your physiotherapist may need to communicate closely with your Calgary dentist or doctor to ensure a thorough treatment approach is taken to solve the root of your TMJ problem.
9 Convenient Locations in Calgary. All Physiotherapy clinics have morning and evening appointments available to meet the demands of your busy schedule. Saturday appointments are available at select locations.
Panther Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centres is a physical therapist owned and operated rehabilitation company. We are a network of ten rehabilitation centres located throughout the city of Calgary that offer a wide range of programs and services to help our patients restore and maximize their physical capabilities.