416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052
Many people think Osteopaths only treat backs! We find that sometimes patients don’t mention some of their aches and pains, because they think we don’t treat that area. Jaw pain (commonly referred to as TMJ pain) is one such example. Jaw pain can be extremely debilitating and is relatively common. While not all jaw pain can be relieved by osteopathic treatment, it is certainly worth discussing your jaw pain with your osteopath.
I know we shouldn’t have favourites, but the TMJ is one of my FAVOURITE joints in the whole body. The TMJ joint has an incredibly complex relationship with numerous other parts of your body, and the joints themselves are incredibly complex in both their structure and the way they function.
The amazing thing is not that they occasionally cause people pain, but that in general, we make them work incredibly hard and don’t even think about them because they normally work so efficiently!
Anatomy of The Jaw
The muscles you use to chew food are the strongest in the whole body, and yet so sensitive they can respond to the sensation of the tiniest grain of sand in your food and instantly release your jaw, preventing potential damage to your teeth. Your jaw muscles are some of the hardest working muscles in your entire body…every time you chew or talk you are working them hard!
Your Osteopath can help reduce the symptoms of jaw pain. A full assessment of your jaw neck and spine will be undertaken to ascertain the underlying cause of your pain. We will then compile a comprehensive treatment plan, tailored specifically to each patient.
Treatment plans centre around osteopathic treatment using highly skilled techniques to ease your jaw pain and restore the proper range of movement in the jaw.
We also focus on more long-term rehabilitation techniques to improve mobility and strength in your jaw and other areas if needed.
Jaw pain can also cause headaches, and these will be treated if required. Breathing exercises may also be prescribed to patients going through stressful events.
It’s also important to remember that jaw pain can affect people of all ages, children, teenagers, the elderly.
When we treat patients with jaw pain, our main aim is to return patients back to health as quickly as possible!
The following 2 exercises can help relax the muscles around the jaw.
TMJ Relaxation Exercise 1
TMJ Relaxation Exercise 2