Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD/TMJ)

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are a group of complex problems related to the jaw joint (the term TMJ is often used to refer to these types of problems). These conditions may be the result of a number of factors, including trauma (such as a car accident, a blow to the jaw, or a fall on the chin) and overuse (such as persistent clenching of the jaw). Our philosophy includes a strong focus on educating the client about the problem as well as offering suggestions on self-care to help with recovery.

  • Assessment: The initial examination involves taking a thorough history as well as physical examination of the temporomandibular joints and neck. The majority of individuals with TMD also suffer from neck pain, hence the importance of the neck examination.
  • Treatment: A strong emphasis is placed on the education component. Following the initial examination, the client is provided with an anatomy lesson of the involved muscles and joints, the mechanics of jaw movements, and advice on methods to reduce strain to the jaw and neck. Other components of treatment may include manual therapy (joint mobilization, massage, soft tissue stretching), exercise prescription, and pain reducing modalities. Pain reducing modalities are used only as an adjunct to other treatments.