Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are problems affecting the jaw joint—usually pain or reduced movement of the joint. Physical therapy is a treatment option for those diagnosed with TMJ disorders.
Hands-on work is performed to relax muscles to increase movement and decrease pain. Patients are taught to supplement the work done by therapists by relaxing the muscle inside and outside of the mouth as well as neck and shoulders. Physical therapy techniques improve the ability to open the mouth for hygiene, yawning and eating.
The goals for patient treatment include:
- Reduction of pain
- Increased motion
- Increased strength
- Increased function at the jaw joints