Jaw Pain and Osteopathy

The temporomandibular joint (or TMJ for short) is what is commonly referred to as the jaw. There is one TMJ on each side of our face just in front of our ear and it connects the jaw bone to the skull. Since the joint on each side is connected to the jaw bone they need to function together in unison to allow normal jaw movement when we are talking, eating, yawning etc. It is when they are not functioning together well that you might need the help of your osteopath to correct this.

Symptoms of TMJ pain and dysfunction:

  • Headaches
  • Locking of the jaw and pain with opening and closing the jaw
  • Pain in the face, ear, inside of mouth or jaw
  • Clicking and popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the muscles the open and close the jaw
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Toothache

Causes of TMJ pain

  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Trauma to the jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Poor posture
  • Misalignment of the teeth
  • Stress

How can your Osteopath help

Osteopaths use a number of techniques to improve jaw pain and function, each treatment will be tailored to the individual and their presentation. These techniques include:

  • Soft tissue to the muscles surrounding the jaw
  • Joint articulation to improve movement and biomechanics of the joint
  • Dry needling to aid capsular pain and help ease arthritic pain
  • Posture correction – to address any underlying biomechanics that may be contributing to jaw pain
  • Education into preventative methods such as exercises to improve posture and breathing and mindfulness advice to help manage stress
  • Referral to other healthcare professionals in instances where dental care or a mouth guard are required
massage treatment of the jaw tmj with an osteopath
massage treatment of the jaw tmj with an osteopath
dry needling of the tmj jaw by an osteopath

If you are experiencing TMJ pain or dysfunction then don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We know how uncomfortable it can be! Our own osteopaths Kate and Mirae have had some personal experience with her own TMJ dysfunction too. The photos in this blog post are from a treatment Mirae had from Kate to help with sporadic stiffness and clicking in her jaw following a skipping rope “incident” about 8 years ago.