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Physical Therapy for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a common condition. It affects more than 10 million people in the U.S. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) plays a vital role in our ability to eat and do daily activities such as talking and yawning. TMD can result in pain with a wide range of daily activities. It can also affect sleep. The good news is that a physical therapist can help identify and treat issues with the TMJ. You don’t have to live with it.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

The TMJ is a hinge joint that connects your jaw to your skull in front of your ears. TMD is a condition that limits the natural function of the jaw.

Symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain/fatigue
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Popping sounds in your jaw
  • Locking jaw

Associated symptoms include:

  • Ringing in your ears
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Neck pain

What to Expect from Physical Therapy for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

A physical therapist conducts an in-depth physical exam that includes:

  • Jaw tracking and neck movement/range of motion
  • Soft tissue and muscle contributing to or affected by TMD
  • Posture
  • Joint mobility

Your treatment may include:

  • Posture correction
  • Education on causes and daily changes you can make to alleviate pain
  • Manual therapy techniques to improve and restore normal jaw movements
  • Instruction on a home exercise program you can use to help manage your TMD on your own
  • Pain management techniques, as needed
  • Referral to other health care professionals, such as a dentist, if teeth alignment is the cause or a bite guard is needed

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“I was barely able to move my neck and was unable to function at my job. I haven’t felt this good in years. The staff are amazing and the techs are a lot of fun to work with. I will miss my sessions, but I’m cured!”


“Starting with almost no movement and a lot of pain, OT has restored my strength and flexibility in my hand. The staff was empathetic, efficient and made a somewhat tedious task fun. I am very happy with the outcome and am able to do my daily activities with relative ease.”


“It was a very educational experience and helpful to my recovery. The staff are knowledgeable and know what to do. The homework stretches and exercises were helpful now and will be in the future.”


“I have been taken under the wings of a great team of people helping me with my lymphedema. I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received. This is an excellent place to get the proper care and attention needed to improve.”