Physical Therapy For TMJ Disorders

Physical Therapy For TMJ Disorders hover background

Jul 11

Physical Therapy For TMJ Disorders

You may have heard that one of the biggest causes of temporomandibular disorders, or TMD, is stress. Stress is on the rise for millennials and so are cases of TMD. Sometimes referred to as TMJ (representative of the joint, not the disorder), TMD can be painful, cause headaches, lockjaw or other problems with the jaw or teeth. So, is it helpful to have physical therapy for TMJ disorders?

While any issues of this nature should be evaluated by your dentist or TMJ specialist, he or she may suggest some forms of treatment including stress reduction, bite splints or physical therapy.

What is TMD?

Temporomandibular disorders are commonly characterized by issues with the temporomandibular joints found on each side of your head. It is a cause for concern with patients, not only from the pain and headaches that one can experience, but also for more serious reasons.

Proper functioning of the temporomandibular joints allow us to speak, eat, chew and yawn. Interference with these basic body functions can cause other disturbances in our bodies, so paying attention to symptoms of TMD is important.

Symptoms of TMD

Pay attention to these symptoms of TMD:

  • Pain in jaw
  • Tenderness in jaw
  • Clicking sound in jaw
  • Headache
  • Ache around the ear
  • Inability to open/close mouth
  • Difficulty opening or closing mouth
  • Difficulty chewing

Causes of TMD

As mentioned before, stress can play a huge factor in developing TMD, however there are many other causes of TMD as well, including:

  • Injury to head, neck or jaw
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Arthritis
  • Dislocated disc in jaw

Physical therapy for TMJ Disorders

While physical therapy will likely not be the only treatment option in your treatment for TMD, it has been shown to help. Your physical therapist will conduct an evaluation and develop a program to aid in your healing that may include:

  • Exercises
  • Manual therapy
  • Pain treatment (such as TENS)
  • Stress reduction

Your physical therapist may also take into consideration your posture and offer recommendations on how to improve this as it may be playing a part in your TMD.

Your physical therapist at Above & Beyond Physical Therapy in Phoenix or Queen Creek is an important part of your healthcare team, whether you are receiving physical therapy for TMJ disorders or something else. Our physical therapists are skilled in a variety of conditions and trained to help you find your best road to recovery. If TMD pain is interfering with you living your best life, contact us for an evaluation.


Queen Creek Location
21321 E. Ocotillo Rd., Suite 122
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Ph: 480.987.1870
F: 480.987.9289

3201 W. Peoria Ave., Suite D800
Phoenix, AZ 85029
Ph: 602.866.2231
F: 602.866.2261