Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction
So, your doctor tells you that you have TMJ – guess what, you have 2! The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint between the jaw (known as the mandible) and the skull (temporal bone). It is the one that is near your ear and moves when you open your mouth. It is used every time we chew, talk, yawn, or even swallow. Its anatomy, as well as its movement, is very complex. Because of this, the TMJ can become dysfunctional and can cause pain in the jaw or face, popping or clicking during chewing, limitation of jaw movement, or even headaches. This is a condition known as Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction (TMD). The muscles involved in TMD are frequently an untreated factor in patients with headaches that may have failed other forms of treatment.
The doctors at Sport and Spine Rehab are highly trained in the evaluation and treatment of this condition. Our conservative approach to temporomandibular dysfunction consists of a detailed examination of the TMJ and its function, as well as the function of the cervical spine (neck). Treatment focuses on releasing the tension with the proper soft tissue treatments, in some cases mobilizing the jaw or manipulating the neck. Patients are engaged in an active care model that works on how to retrain proper jaw motion with rehabilitation exercises. The goal of this treatment is to restore proper function of the joint and stabilize its motion.