- Aubrey Morrison
Suffer from TMJD....We may be able to help!
In Motion with Morrison Blog
Written by Aubrey Morrison
MS Sports Medicine, CSCS, Licensed Massage Therapist #16763
TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint”, which is the joint that we refer to as the jaw. TMJ
disorder (TMJD) is one of many types of TMD’s (temporomandibular disorders), but is certainly a very common one that people suffer from. TMJD can present itself in various symptoms so it is pretty easy to diagnose, but the causes can be tougher to figure out. The key to curing anything is to fix what is causing it, and if the cause is unknown then dealing with TMJD can simply be a matter of managing the symptoms, which is where massage comes in for providing relief.
Symptoms of TMJD include cracking and popping of the jaw when chewing or opening and
closing the mouth, painful chewing and opening/closing the mouth, stiffness and limited
movement of the jaw, changes in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together, and even
ringing in the ears and dizziness. The most common complaints are pain in the area and
clicking/popping; we often see headaches in association with TMJD. The cause of this is, again, harder to figure out; for many people, they have no idea what is causing it. Arthritis of the temporomandibular joint is a cause of stiffness and pain for sure. If there has been an injury to the jaw, that can affect the alignment of the joint and cause problems. Constantly tensing the jaw muscles from stress, clenching the teeth, or grinding the teeth will likely cause pain…but how do you stop doing those things when they are done unconsciously? That is outside of our scope as massage therapists, but we can help relieve the pain for sure!
The main muscles we would work on to relieve the muscles involving the TMJ would be the
masseter (the muscle you can feel right at your jaw), the temporalis (at the temples on both
sides of the head), and the pterygoid muscles (a little under the cheek bones). All of these can be accessed at the skin level, but some therapists will actually glove up to access some other smaller muscles inside the mouth that can really provide further relief with more severe cases of TMJD. We would definitely include massage to relieve tension in the head, neck, shoulders, and back; most often stress-cause TMJD is accompanied by other muscular imbalances and trigger points that need to be addressed for complete relief.
Detailed TMJ massage can be requested during a customized massage here at Coastal Massage and Wellness, or in our specialized Headache Relief massage. Even if you have not been diagnosed with TMJD, stress levels are generally high these days, and you may not even realize how much of a headache those jaw muscles are. Whether you are aware of it or not, or know the cause of it or not, we’ve got you covered!
Book your appointment online at www.coastalmassagewellness.com or text 910-581-2900!