What type of TMJ pain do you have?

What type of TMJ pain do you have?

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) is a collective term designating a number of clinical conditions that involve the masticatory musculature and/or temporomandibular joints (TMJ).

When diagnosing and treating TMD, two classification schemes are used by your physical therapist.

The Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (DC/TMD) divides TMD into two syndromes :

(1) Muscle-related TMD (myogenous TMD), sometimes called TMD secondary to myofascial pain

(2) Dysfunction joint-related TMD (arthrogenous TMD) or TMD secondary to true articular disease.

Sometimes our patients have 1 or the other, or most likely a combination of two. The treatment approach, prognosis of care and overall outcome can be highly influenced by having either of the syndromes. This is why what works for one of your friends or family members may not be the best treatment for you!

A detailed subjective history and physical examination can help determine the difference between the two conditions and help guide you through a comprehensive treatment plan.

I like to delve more into they “why” — meaning, does the jaw dysfunction cause spasm of the muscles or do the muscles cause dysfunction of the joint? This type of reasoning allows us to dive into better treatment options with manual therapy and exercise, but also find out other triggers that may be associated with sleeping posture, diet, stress management and posture.

Therefore, our treatment is not just cookie cutter with ultrasound, massage and exercise…you can get that stuff online now!

Can having neck pain influence your TMJ?

In most cases, the role of the neck (i.e. cervical spine), is highly influential on your TMJ.

  • Most patients with TMD have significantly worse cervical extensor muscle function

  • Most patients with TMD have neck pain on movement

  • Most patients with TMD have significantly reduced upper cervical rotation range of motion

Therefore, cervical impairment can be considered as a perpetuating factor for TMD and therefore, appropriate assessment and treatment of the cranio-cervical junction is key to getting you better.

If you suffer from the jaw hurting with talking, eating and chewing, pain with yawning, wake up with pain in your jaw and head; then you may have TMD. Feel free to contact us to determine if a consultation and treatment approach is right for you.