Massage Therapy and TMJ
Updated: Jan 27
The TMJ is the joint that connects the jaw bone with the skull and acts as a hinge for your mouth. Whenever you move your mouth — talk, eat, yawn, etc. — you are moving the TMJ. when your TMJ is positioned incorrectly or is not working properly, you are experiencing temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ syndrome or TMJ).
The most common symptoms of TMJ include stiffness and pain in the jaw, face, and neck and can be a result of a combination of things like genetics, clenching or grinding of the teeth, and in some cases, a jaw injury.
Most people with TMJ instinctually go to their dentist for help, who might put them on a waitlist for surgery. However, research has suggested that massage therapy can be an effective treatment in the reduction or elimination of the symptoms of TMJ.
In fact, several studies have found that receiving massage on the lateral pterygoid muscle has helped stop the pain and reduce clicking of the jaw altogether. So, can massage therapy help you with your TMJ symptoms? The answer is YES!
TMJ Headaches and Causes
One of the most common side effects of TMJ is headaches. Because the TMJ muscle runs along your jaw and cheeks, when it tenses up or you grind your teeth, it can cause pain that spreads throughout your skull to the top of the head causing a headache. TMJ Headaches are hard to differentiate from general headaches, however, the root cause is usually the grinding of teeth.
TMJ headaches typically have other symptoms associated with them including tight jaw muscles, a clicking noise in the jaw, facial pain, or changes in the way your top and bottom teeth sit together. While lifestyle changes such as reducing stress and avoiding certain types of foods sometimes help, surgery and medication have been prescribed in more serious situations.
Many people suffering from TMJ who have tried several treatment options and have consulted with a dentist are looking to massage therapy for relief. Massage is far less invasive than surgery and offers numerous benefits in addition to pain relief. In fact, massage has become an increasingly popular tool for TMJ sufferers in Edmonton, Alberta, and beyond.
How Can Massage Therapy Help With TMJ?
As a Licensed and Registered Massage Therapist in Edmonton, I have experience treating all types of chronic pain issues as well as TMJ Syndrome. After a thorough assessment of your pain history and determining if TMJ is the cause of your headaches, teeth clicking, jaw pain, etc, I can put together a treatment plan that is unique to your needs.
TMJ massage treatments typically include massaging the specific trigger points in the face regularly. This can help lessen the amount and intensity of headaches, jaw pain, or general aching in the face over time. By relaxing the muscles that cause the jaw to lock, click or pull to the side, massage can help encourage stronger functioning overall.
Edmonton TMJ Massage
Most people suffering from TMJ are unaware that massage treatment can help their symptoms. They struggle to sleep, chew their food, yawn or rarely experience a day headache-free. If you are looking for holistic or alternative options to treat your TMJ, I can help.
I use a variety of massage techniques to ease the face and neck muscles as well as acupuncture for those interested. After we develop your treatment plan, we work towards alleviating your pain and discomfort due to TMJ so you can live a more functional and fulfilled life.
To learn more or to book an appointment for a TMJ Initial Assessment, call Francesco Holistic at (780) 224-7111 or book an appointment online. I am located in West Edmonton and offer a variety of timeslots for new patients looking to see if massage therapy and acupuncture are right for them.