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TMJ Dysfunction and Headache Management

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are among some of the most frequently used joints in the body, allowing us to talk, chew, yawn, swallow and sneeze. The TMJ are located on each side of the skull. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is often overlooked. Some of the more common symptoms include clicking or popping with opening or closing of the mouth, pain around the jaw joints, locking of the jaw, headaches and an improper bite (teeth do not fit together properly).

Most often, TMD can be treated conservatively. However, it is important that a qualified clinician such as a physical therapist, dentist, or orthopedist is consulted for an accurate diagnosis since many conditions can mimic the signs and symptoms common to TMD. Because the TMJ and neck are so closely connected, many times headaches, jaw pain, and/or neck pain are a multi-factorial problem.

At MTMPT, we will teach you self-management techniques along with one-on-one physical therapy treatment that are effective in aiding in your recovery. Most commonly this involves teaching you the common postural and ergonomic stresses that may bring about your symptoms and educating you on proper alignment, strengthening weak muscles, stretching tight muscles, and using modalities to bring down the inflammation and pain while promoting healing of the joint(s) and surrounding soft tissues.

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