TMJ Physical Therapy Raleigh-Durham, Fayetteville & Surrounding North Carolina Cities

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) guides jaw movement. Problems with the TMJ are known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD).

TMD is very common; more than 10 million people in the United States have it. TMD can be caused by:

  • Bad posture habits. One of the reasons TMD is so common is because many of us spend a great deal of time sitting at a desk, where we often hold our head too far forward as we work. But there are many other kinds of bad posture. Sitting in the car for a long commute, working at a checkout station, cradling a telephone receiver against the same shoulder for long periods of time, always carrying your child on the same hip—all can place the head in an awkward position and cause jaw problems. The “forward head position” puts a strain on the muscles, disk, and ligaments of the TMJ. The jaw is forced to “rest” in an opened position, and the chewing muscles become overused.
  • Chronic jaw clenching at night (“bruxism”). Many people clench their jaws at night while they sleep, usually because of stress. This puts a strain on the TMJ because of the constant strain on the joint and surrounding muscles.
  • Problems with teeth alignment (“malocclusion”). If your teeth come together in an unusual way, greater stress is placed on your TMJ.
  • Surgery. Following surgery to the face and jaw, there may be a loss in mobility and function of the TMJ.

How can a physio help?

Your physio can help restore the natural movement of your jaw and decrease your pain. If the physio determines that your jaw pain is not related to teeth alignment, the physio will select treatments that will work best for you. Treatments used by physios for TMD include:

Posture education. If your physio finds that you sit with your head in an increased forward position, this means that you are placing a greater strain on the muscles beneath your chin, causing the lower jaw to pull back and the mouth to be in an open position even when resting, and increasing stress on the TMJ. You also might be overworking the jaw muscles to force the jaw closed so your mouth isn’t open all the time. Your physio will teach you to be aware of your posture so that you can improve the resting position of your jaw, head, neck, breastbone, and shoulder blades when you’re sitting and walking.

Improve jaw movement. Physios use skilled hand movements called manual therapy to increase movement and relieve pain in tissues and joints. Your therapist also might use manual therapy to stretch the jaw in order to restore normal joint and muscle flexibility (how supple your muscles are) or break up scar tissues (“adhesions”) that sometimes develop when there is constant injury.

Your physio will teach you special “low-load” exercises—exercises that don’t exert a lot of pressure on your TMJ but that can strengthen the muscles of the jaw and restore a more natural, pain-free motion.

Maintaining good sitting posture is key to preventing TMJ problems. Your physio will show you how to maintain a good sitting posture to prevent future episodes of TMD.

Free Screen on Us

We offer complimentary screens at all BreakThrough PT locations. If you’ve been dealing with a nagging injury or persistent pain, don’t wait any longer.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

Symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw fatigue
  • Difficulty opening your mouth to eat or talk
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Headache
  • Popping sounds in your jaw
  • Neck pain
  • Locking jaw

Ready to reclaim your life? BreakThrough is here to help.

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Here’s what some of our patients had to say

Working with Pierce and the team at Breakthrough Sports Performance has been a major help to our at Athletes at Liberty Soccer Academy. Their knowledge and professionalism is top class.

five stars Andrew Bradham

BreakThrough Sports Performance has been a tremendous help in the development of the ACS U13 Girls Volleyball team. Just a few short weeks of training you can clearly see the positive impact it has had on their bodies and their approach to the importance of training!

five stars Scott Shepard

Coach Pierce has been a great asset to our program. His understanding of building the athlete from a fundamental level is of huge benefit to our athletes. Every athlete feels like they are getting the most out of each training session to improve their individual events.

five stars Lorin Collins

My experience at BreakThrough Sports Performance has been amazing. I’ve been seeing the guys at BreakThrough for 3 years now and feel so much stronger and more mobile swinging the golf club. BreakThrough Sports Performance is different. The trainers will educate you with things you wouldn’t hear anywhere else, like… the importance of your airway…

five stars Jackson Bode

Training at BreakThrough Sports Performance helps me feel my best. Before I started with BreakThrough there were days where I physically felt that I couldn’t perform the way I needed to. Since training at BreakThrough I feel more prepared to tolerate a high volume of tournaments that I couldn’t do before. I injured my back…

five stars Jackson Von Paris

I started working with Breakthrough Sports Performance to help with my back. I was unable to play two rounds in a row but after participating in the golf fitness class I can now play as often as I can without pain. The simple process of a physical assessment, swing assessment and KVest evaluation narrowed down…

five stars Brian

I discovered Breakthrough Sports Performance due to an ankle injury. They were able to see within the first 24 hours which greatly improved my recovery time. They provided me with the right physical therapy and treatment needed to get me back on the court faster. Because of the knowledgeable coaches/trainers, and the excellent facilities, I…

five stars Karsen Corbett

Thank you so much! I love you guys and the care I received!

five stars Zoe BreakThrough PT Patient

We rate BreakThrough Physical Therapy a 10; we are extremely happy! After having received excellent PT in the past, we had no doubt this was the only place we would trust with our son’s recovery. The warm, welcoming environment makes it a comfortable place to receive therapy. This puts him at ease allowing for the…

five stars Mary Y. BreakThrough PT Patient

After just 4 visits…I feel like a brand new person. Before, I could barely walk for 15 minutes without my back screaming in pain. Now I’m zooming through therapy and going on walks at home.

five stars Christy F. BreakThrough PT Patient

Let our qulalified physios help with your TMJ problems.

Schedule an appointment or call us at (866) 922-0012.

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