What is the TMJ?
“TMJ” stands for Temporo Mandibular Joint. Your TMJ is basically your jaw joint that joins and hinges the jaw (mandible) onto the skull (temporal plate of the skull).
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ Dysfunction or TMJ Disorder refers to irritation or improper functioning of the TMJ jaw joint. Typical symptoms of TMJ Disorder are:
- jaw pain
- clicking in the jaw
- difficulty opening or closing the jaw
- locking of the jaw
- grinding the teeth at night
- neck pain
How to Relieve TMJ Pain
To treat TMJ Pain effectively it is important to do more that treat only the TMJ joint. One must take into account many of the surrounding structures:
- The treatment should treat the structures most directly related to the joint such as: medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid, masseter, and temporal muscles
- The fascia around this area is all very connected and interrelated. The SCM muscle, for example weaves into the fascia of the TMJ joint as well as the fascia of the face. Releasing the SCM can thus partially relieve the TMJ joint.
- The hyoid muscles should also be treated as they can deviate the mandible/jaw laterally
- Cranial work to rebalance the skull plates can also help relieve tension
- The suboccipital muscles and other neck muscles can all pull on the fascia of the TMJ causing tension on the joint and should therefore be relieved.
My Approach to treating TMJ Pain
My TMJ treatments typically cover the areas I just mentioned by incorporating a combination of massage, acupuncture, mobilizations, reflexive techniques, stretches, and fascial techniques.
For best results it is recommended to receive treatment once a week for 4 to 6 weeks.