Jaw Pain Treatment
Jaw pain is experienced by quite a number of people, but in many causes, it goes unaddressed. Jaw pain is caused when the small muscles in the jaw become tight and overactive. TMJ dysfunction is a common cause of jaw pain or tightness, but not all jaw pain is necessarily caused by TMJ.
Jaw pain causes
Posture – The resting posture and position of the jaw can lead to tightness over time. The posture of the skull on the neck can also cause the neck muscles to bring down the jaw. This causes the jaw muscles to keep the mouth closed, resulting in tightness.
Dental problems – Clenching and grinding teeth can lead to pain due to the physical squeezing of the jaw muscles.
Stress – Tension and stress can sometimes be felt in the jaw. This can lead to the brain having difficulty knowing when to relax the jaw muscles.
Other pain – Neck pain and headaches are common symptoms amongst those who experience jaw pain, as upper neck stiffness can contribute to jaw problems.
Treat jaw pain
When our physiotherapists address your jaw pain, they will look at the way the neck moves, jaw moves and your shoulder and trunk ranges. They will also look for any neural irritation in the arms and neck. Our physios will assess your jaw muscles and upper neck joints to identify the best treatment to help improve nerve irritation and movements. Your Sports Focus physio can also discuss with you changes you can make to your sleep position, stress levels and other contributing factors. This can help prevent symptoms from reoccurring after your jaw pain treatment has ended.
If you would like to start working on your jaw issues in the lead up to your physio appointment, some small things you can do include:
- Be aware of any tension in the jaw and actively tell yourself to relax the muscles whenever you notice it.
- Maintain proper head posture. Your head should be directly above your shoulders, rather than extended forwards.
- Keep your jaw and neck muscles relaxed while you sleep. You can help make this possible by using the correct type of pillow.