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Physical Therapy for Neck and Shoulder Pain due to TMJ Issues

Suffering with TMJ problems? The muscles of the neck and shoulders are connected to the jaw. TMJ disorders can play a role in neck and shoulder pain or stiffness. At Cherry Creek Wellness, we understand that chronic stiffness or misalignment in your neck or shoulders, can directly affect the function of your jaw joints. 

Where is the TMJ? 

Everyone has two TMJs (Temporomandibular Joints), one on the right and one on the left. Slide your fingers along the bottom edge of your cheekbone toward your ear, then stop just before the ear. Open and close your mouth to feel it move. The TMJ is that joint formed between the temporal bone of the skull and the mandible, or jawbone. Like other joints in the body, the TM joint has muscles, tendons, ligaments, a joint space where the bones meet, and a joint capsule. 

Proper TMJ movement is dependent on the position of your teeth, cranium, neck, mid-spine, and shoulder girdle. If you have suffered a loss of strength and motion in the spine and shoulders, the TMJ often compensates for the poor alignment. 
Even though most people go to their dentist or orthodontist to treat TMJ with dental work or a dental appliance, if you have pain, stiffness, or misalignment in your neck and shoulders, you may want to consider getting some physical therapy to help treat the problem. We  specialize in treating TMJ with physical therapy.  The treatment will reduce the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ.
If  you continue to experence head and/or neck pain, you may need to consider treatment for a TMJ problem.  Because the effects of jaw alignment are not often associated with the neck and shoulder muscles. A doctor may have prescribed medicine for your headaches; a dentist may have given you an appliance to prevent teeth grinding. Cherry Creek Wellness can perform a comprehensive evaluation of your TMJ, neck, thoracic spine, and shoulder girdle to determine the structures causing your symptoms. 

TMJ disorder usually causes some or all of the following symptoms:

Jaw and facial pain/tension
Ear pain 
Problems with "sitting activities," such as working at the computer, or reading
Jaw cracking/popping
Difficulty turning your head
Neck tension
Problems chewing, swallowing, opening your mouth, or yawning

When you come in for your physical therapy evaluation, you can expect your jaw mobility to be evaluated first, then we can release the muscle tension in the head and neck region. Once we get your neck and jaw joints moving appropriately again, strengthening and stabilizing exercises are prescribed to maintain the new, correct, position of the TMJ. 

Here at Cherry Creek Wellness, we recommend TMJ treatment  if you have pain, noise in the joint, or difficulty with jaw movement and have not achieved relief with other treatments. Contact us today to set up an evaluation. Call 303-333-3493 for scheduling.