Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD) refers to a group of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint, muscles of mastication, and surrounding structures of the jaw. This disorder can cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, impacting an individual’s ability to speak, chew, and even open their mouth comfortably.

Understanding TMJ/TMD

TMJ/TMD can manifest in various ways and may include the following symptoms:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
  • Clicking, popping, or grinding noises in the jaw joint
  • Locking of the jaw joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth
  • Headaches or earaches
  • Facial pain or fatigue
  • Difficulty with jaw movement, such as limited range of motion or deviation of jaw during opening or closing

The exact cause of TMJ/TMD can vary and may include factors such as jaw misalignment, muscle tension, trauma to the jaw joint, teeth grinding (bruxism), arthritis, or stress. Due to the complex nature of TMJ/TMD, a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist, is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the management of TMJ/TMD by addressing underlying musculoskeletal issues and promoting optimal jaw function. Here’s how we can help:

  1. Manual Therapy: Our physical therapists utilize hands-on techniques to release muscle tension, improve joint mobility, and reduce pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles. Manual therapy may include massage, joint mobilizations, and myofascial release techniques to alleviate discomfort and improve jaw function.
  2. Exercise Prescription: Specific exercises are prescribed to strengthen weakened jaw muscles, improve range of motion, and enhance jaw stability. These exercises may focus on stretching tight muscles, strengthening weak muscles, and improving coordination of jaw movements to restore optimal function.
  3. Posture and Alignment Correction: Poor posture and alignment can contribute to TMJ/TMD symptoms. Our physical therapists assess posture and alignment issues and provide corrective strategies to reduce strain on the jaw joint and surrounding structures. This may include education on proper ergonomics and posture during daily activities.
  4. Education and Self-Management Techniques: Patients are educated about TMJ/TMD, its contributing factors, and strategies to manage symptoms. This may include guidance on relaxation techniques, stress management, dietary modifications, and home exercises to empower patients in self-managing their condition.
  5. Modalities: Modalities such as red light therapy and dry needling may be used to complement manual therapy and exercise interventions, providing pain relief and promoting tissue healing in the jaw area.

Ready to relieve TMJ/TMD discomfort and restore jaw function? Take the first step towards a pain-free jaw and contact us today.



To experience the Thrive difference, please contact us today and schedule your appointment. You do not need a doctor’s referral to start Physical Therapy!

Make An Appointment

To experience the Thrive difference, please contact us today and schedule your appointment. You do not need a doctor’s referral to start Physical Therapy!