Only Available in San Diego
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull, acting like a hinge to move your jaw in all directions. Like any other joint in your body, your TMJ is susceptible to injury which can lead to pain and the inability to tolerate normal everyday movements or activities such as talking, eating, chewing and yawning. Factors that can lead or contribute to pain in your TMJ include poor postural habits, dysfunction of the neck, abnormal dental alignment, and activities causing overuse such as clenching of teeth, grinding of teeth or nail biting. Symptoms of Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) can include pain in the jaw and/or surrounding muscles, ear pain or ringing in the ears, neck pain and/or headaches.
Physical Therapy examination of the TMJ involves an assessment of jaw motion as well as the cervical spine due to a common correlation in symptoms and dysfunction between these two regions. Treatment is aimed at normalizing the alignment of the skull, jaw and cervical spine, addressing any muscle imbalance present, with the goal of restoring proper joint mechanics, decreasing pain and improving overall tolerance for daily activities.