Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can often go undiagnosed but are common sources of jaw, facial, ear, and neck pain. TMJ pain arise from a variety of sources, such as a dental procedures, repetitive movements, traumatic blow to the face, stress, posture, or even cervical spine dysfunction.
Symptoms may include:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Limited opening of the jaw
- Ear pain
- Facial pain
- Neck pain
The good news is that TMJ pain can be treated conservatively with physical therapy. Depending on the cause of symptoms, physical therapy may include manual therapy such as soft tissue mobilization or joint mobilizations, exercises to retrain jaw mechanics of opening and closing, relaxation techniques, and postural re-education.