Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is formed by the articulation of the mandible and the temporal bone of the cranium. It is located anteriorly to the tragus of the ear, on the lateral side of the face. You have one joint on each side of your jaw.

TMJ dysfunction

Sometimes it is difficult to know the exact cause of this disorder. Probably a combination of factors like genetics, arthritis or jaw injury may be the cause of your pain.

Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism), although many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.


Disorders of TMJ may include several signs and symptoms:

  • Tenderness or pain on facial, neck muscles and jaw
  • Cliking, grindind or locking of the jaw
  • Soreness and swelling of the temporomandibular joints
  • Ear pain, tinnitus and hearing loss
  • Chewing, talking or yawning might be difficult or cause pain
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Joint locked, making it difficult some movements

Often, this pain and discomfort can be relieved with physiotherapy treatment. Surgery is typically a last resort after conservative measures have failed.

What causes TMJ pain?

  • Tooth pain
  • Jaw muscles overactivity
  • Chewing
  • Grinding
  • Stress
  • Tear of the cartilage inside the joint
  • Arthritis
  • Increased sensitivity

TMJ Physiotherapy treatment

The aims of physiotherapy treatment are restore normal function and mobility, minimise stiffness and pain relief.


Relaxation muscles, decrease chronic and acute pain, increase blood circulation, swelling and wound healing and tissue repair.

Posture correction

Bad posture in daily life will causes prolonged over-stretching and tension of muscles, ligaments and joints especially surrounding tissues of the jaw. Improving our posture it is possible to prevent or relieve your head, neck and jaw pain.

Manual treatment

  • Mobilizing joint
  • Massage muscles
  • Relaxing jaw position
  • Dry needling


  • Strengthening and stretching muscles
  • Mandibular stabilisation exercises
  • Apply heat on chronic injuries and ice on acute pain area

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