Massage Therapy for TMJ Pain
WHAT IS TMJ?
TMJ is the name of a joint that moves the jaw, the TemporoMandibular Joint. The joint has a hinge action to open and close the jaw as well as a sliding action which allows the joint to move side to side. When someone has dysfunction around this joint, it can limit movement of the jaw, be painful while chewing and talking and possibly cause headaches and facial pain. Massage Therapy for TMJ can be very helpful in alleviating pain associated with this joint.
MUSCLES OF THE TMJ
The muscles that make up this joint are:
1. The Pterygoids – aid in opening and closing the mouth, side to side movement and protruding the jaw
2. Masseter – strong muscle that aids in closing the mouth, protruding and retruding the chin and side to side movement
3. Temporalis – closing the mouth, retruding the chin, side to side movement
MASSAGE THERAPY AROUND THE TMJ
Massage Therapy can be administered intra-orally (inside the mouth, wearing a glove) and around the joint outside the mouth. It is very common for people to clench the jaw as a response to stress, emotional and physical stress (think about clenching the jaw when trying to lift something heavy). Massage can help to retrain those muscles to relax and can help decrease pain in the area as well. Treatment will usually also include massage for the muscles of the neck, as this can help the whole upper body to relax which can help with the jaw clenching.
Have more questions about massage for tmj and facial pain? Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have!
WANT MORE INFORMATION? VISIT THIS LINK FOR A PAIN SCIENCE ARTICLE ON MASSAGE FOR TMJ MASSAGE: