You may have noticed it from time to time. You hear or feel your jaw pop. What you may not know is those jaw pops can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder commonly referred to as TMJD or TMJ disorder.
The symptoms of TMJ disorder include, but are not limited to;
- Neck Pain
- Painful jaw or facial muscles
- Difficulty chewing or talking
There are over 10 million people who suffer from TMJ disorder. Researchers generally put TMJ disorder into three categories. They are;
- Myofascial pain – pain in the muscles that support the face or jaw
- Condyle injury or derangement of a joint – involves a displaced disc or dislocated jaw
- Arthritis – degenerative and inflammatory joint disorder which affects the TMJ.
Now that you know the symptoms and categories associated with TMJD, let’s find out what we can do to help you if you are one of the 10 million sufferering from jaw pain or headaches.
When you have neck pain which comes with TMJ pain, you have symptoms which can disable you from living or enjoying your life to its fullest.
Studies now show up to 70% of neck problems are connected to TMJ. The neck problems seem to stem from muscle spasms, disc pain or joint tightness which reduce your neck’s flexibility.
What’s interesting is from that research, dentists now recommend physical therapy for their patients who suffer from this type of ongoing neck pain.
These are symptoms no medical professional wants you to keep experiencing. We are dedicated to offering our TMJ patients differential diagnosis, corrective exercise, joint manipulation, and dry needling to reduce pain while improving quality of life.
Painful Jaw or Facial Muscles
Any painful jaw or facial muscles may contribute to jaw pops or TMJ clicking. This one sliding hinge joint does almost everything for the mouth. It helps you chew, talk, and express emotions.
The problem with painful jaw or facial muscles is the symptoms of not being able to sleep, eat, talk, or rest. Also, the pain can radiate upwards and cause tenderness in your ear. You can also feel like your mouth is getting stuck in a wide-open position. Sometimes you may feel your mouth will not open up at all.
Difficulty Chewing or Talking
There may be nothing more disconcerting than not being able to chew and talk without pain or distress. If you are beginning to have a jaw pop or you have had your jaw pop for some time, now is the time to see a physical therapist.
Difficulty chewing or talking combined with jaw pain are medical disorders you do not have to suffer from if you seek treatment. Unfortunately, there is no one disorder or disease which fits all the symptoms of TMJ disorder and this is why no two patients should be treated the exact same way.
Get Help for Your TMJ Today
At Peak Physiotherapy and Performance, we treat TMJ disorder frequently. We can find out what is causing your facial pain, difficulty chewing or talking, neck pain, headaches, and jaw pops or clicks. Invest some time in reaching out to us today. There will never be another jaw pain investment, which brings you a greater reward.
Check out our FREE guide, The Do’s and Don’t of Jaw Pain to receive tips and informational videos about more ways to reduce jaw pain!
About the Author
Dr. Andrew Junak is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist. Dr. Junak received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Walsh University and completed his Orthopedic Specialist training at the Cleveland Clinic Orthopaedic Residency Program. He is the owner of Peak Physiotherapy and Performance, a physical therapy clinic in Canal Winchester, Ohio where he serves the local communities of Lancaster, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, Pickerington and Columbus. In his practice, Dr. Junak helps clients with jaw pain, neck pain, and headaches find relief without resorting to medications, injections, or surgery.