The temporomandibular joint (the TMJ or jaw joint) is the junction between the lower jaw (the mandible) and the temporal bone (the side of the head). This complex joint allows you to talk and chew. You have TMJ dysfunction when jaw movement causes pain. Specialized physical therapy in Denver can treat TMJ and reduce the pain and discomfort associated with it.
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You may experience TMJ dysfunction as pain in the face, the neck or the base of the skull. It can result in headaches, earaches and difficulty swallowing. TMJ pain is aggravated by clenching and grinding the teeth. Because the upper part of the joint is part of the skull, any changes, muscle tightness or restrictions in the upper spine can be related to problems in the TMJ.
Patients complaining of head and/or neck pain may have received no treatment for a TMJ problem. A doctor may have prescribed medicine for headaches; a dentist may have given the patient an appliance to prevent teeth grinding. A TMJ problem is best treated by addressing both the head and neck simultaneously, treating muscles as well as joints, and applying specific exercises, often in conjunction with a dental appliance.
If you have TMJ-related pain, noise in the joint or difficulty with jaw movement and have not achieved relief with treatment, you may want to consider a physical therapy evaluation.