How Physical Therapy May Help Reduce Jaw Pain

Jaw Pain TMJ

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the part of your jaw that connects your jaw to your skull, and it can be a primary source of jaw pain. The exact cause of TMJ jaw pain varies, including arthritis, poor posture, crooked teeth, genetics or traumatic injury. People who grind their teeth in their sleep are also at risk for developing jaw pain.

TMJ jaw pain is usually manageable with nonsurgical procedures and treatments, such as physical therapy. In extreme cases that require surgery, physical therapy may help with recovery.

Symptoms of jaw pain related to TMJ

Jaw pain can develop quickly or over time. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about treatments that may help reduce jaw pain:

  • Constant aching in your jaw, especially near the ear
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Popping or clicking sounds when opening your mouth
  • Aching across your entire face
  • Dizziness and headaches

Note: Sudden jaw pain may appear as a symptom of a heart attack. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms as mentioned above along with the following, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Chest pain
  • Loss of breath
  • Numbness and pain in the left arm
  • Nausea


Visiting Advent Physical Therapy for jaw pain

At Advent Physical Therapy, our physical therapists are able to examine your jaw and develop a treatment aimed at reducing your jaw pain.

During your appointment with us, your physical therapist will examine the jaw and neck, including the TMJ and the muscles surrounding it. Your physical therapist will also ask you questions related to your pain and review your medical history. If it’s determined that the cause of your jaw pain is related to crooked or misaligned teeth, he or she may recommend consulting a dentist as well.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your physical therapist will develop a treatment plan. Usually, this plan consists of manual therapy to stretch muscles and help reduce pain. You will also likely receive instructions on exercises and stretches to perform at home. It is important that you follow these instructions to get the best results.

Find a physical therapist near you

Advent Physical Therapy has 13 offices located across West Michigan. If you would like help with managing your TMJ jaw pain, contact Advent Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment at one of our offices near you.