TMJ Syndrome

TMJ Syndrome or temporomandibular joint syndrome is the term used to describe pain and tenderness around the TMJ or surrounding muscles. The TMJ is more commonly known as the jaw joint located just infront of the ear on either side.

There are three main reasons for TMJ dysfunction:

  • Myofascial pain syndrome (muscle and fascia pain around the joint)
  • Internal derangement (structural integrity of the joint)
  • Degenerative joint disease (the joint itself may be wearing out)

It is estimated that approximately 50% of the population may have some form of TMJ symptoms. The incidence is higher in females than males (4:1) and TMJ usually occurs around the age of 20 to 40.

Some causes of TMJ include:

  • TMJ inflammation or disc disease
  • Hypermobile TMJ
  • Grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • Muscle spasms
  • Trauma such as a car accident
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis

At the Canadian Muscle and Joint Pain Clinic, we can treat many forms of TMJ, using the following techniques:

  • Soft tissue techniques such as Graston therapy
  • Trigger point therapy surrounding the muscles of TMJ, such as masseter, temporalis, pterygoids
  • TMJ and cervical osseous manipulation
  • Friction massage therapy
  • Electrotherapy and Ultrasound
  • Supplements such as kava, valerian, bioflavinoids

The prognosis of TMJ is quite favourable, with an estimated 75% of patients having their symptoms resolve within three months, with a comprehensive treatment plan.

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