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Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction...

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction:

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a disorder of the muscles of mastication (chewing), the temporomandibular joints and associated structures producing pain, headaches and decreased range of motion in the movement of the jaw.

Causes:

  • imbalances in the muscles of mastication.
  • muscle overuse from chewing gum, or chewing on one side only.
  • malocclusion, including loss of vertical dimension or space due to loss of teeth. The end result is a compressed disc.
  • misalignment of the cranial bone.
  • postural dysfunction such as hyperkyphosing, hyperlordosing and scoliosis which can lead to muscle imbalances and postural dysfunctions.
  • stress which can lead to grinding or clenching the jaw.
  • Direct or indirect trauma such as whiplash, or prolonged dental work.

Home care for Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction:

Some helpful tips on how to decrease your pain and headaches due to TMJ dysfunction between Massage Therapy treatments…

  • Self massage (taught to you by your RMT to both extra- and intra-oral) to affected muscles can be very effective.
  • Hydrotherapy used properly can bring relief. Heat is used to reduce tight muscles and cold to inflamed areas.
  • To avoid clenching your jaw, take the tip of your tongue and rest it on the roof of your mouth(closer to the front of your mouth)This forces your jaw to relax and rest your masticating muscles.
  • Self stretching and strengthening exercises (given by your RMT) to correct postural imbalances that are contributing to your TMJ dysfunction.
  • Foam rolling, if done properly can also be extremely effective in treating TMJ dysfunction.

Please contact me with any questions you may have about how Massage Therapy or Structural Integration can help relieve your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.