Physical Therapy For TMJ Disorder

If you or a loved one have been living with TMJ disorder, it might seem as if there's no relief available for the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. However, there is effective physical therapy for TMJ that has been proven to:

  • Provide pain relief
  • Increase jaw movement
  • Decrease stress on the jaw
  • Decrease symptoms associated with TMD

If you're unsure of what exactly TMJ disorder is, whether or not you have it, or if physical therapy can help you, read on to find out more and get help.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that acts as a hinge to help your jaw open and close. When someone has TMJ disorder or TMD, people can develop pain in the jaw during movement.

Most pain associated with TMJ is usually only temporary. However, it can become chronic and lead to chronic pain. In the worst cases, if left untreated, TMJ disorders might only be resolved through surgery.

Fortunately, TMD is a treatable condition, which is good news for the 10 million Americans who suffer from the disorder.

Causes And Symptoms of TMJ Disorder


There are a variety of causes for TMJ disorder, and it's still unclear how much each of these factors plays a role in TMJ disorder developing.

Nevertheless, it's usually a combination of factors that leads to someone developing TMJ disorder. Some of the causes of TMD can include:

  • Age and associated arthritis causing joint cartilage damage
  • Jaw injury damaging the joint
  • Bruxism, or constantly clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Eroding disk-bones in the jaw
  • Improperly aligned jaws
  • Poor posture
  • Chronic stress
  • Genetics


Most people with TMJ will first notice pain associated with TMJ disorder. Other symptoms someone might notice include:

Young man experiencing TMJ pain
  • Facial or neck pain
  • Stiffening of the jaw muscle
  • Jaw muscles locking suddenly
  • Limited movement when chewing
  • Pain when yawning
  • A clicking or popping sound from the jaw
  • Jaw alignment shifting causes overbites or underbites

Physical Therapy For TMJ

Physical therapists can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. They can also help promote more movement in the jaw using TMJ mobilizations physical therapy. During physical therapy for TMJ, a physical therapist will help a client perform various exercises for TMJ. These include tests such as ultrasounds, education, and counseling to help prevent TMD flare-ups.

Exercises For TMJ

There are a number of exercises a physical therapist can help you perform to relieve TMD symptoms. These include:

Jaw Strengthening Exercises

These exercises are important for strengthening the joint and helping to prevent flare-ups. They utilize resistance training to strengthen the TMJ. However, if you are experiencing a TMD flare-up, it's best to tell your physical therapist and avoid these exercises.

Jaw Stretching Exercises

During a flare-up, TMJ treatment physical therapy will involve stretching exercises to help reduce muscle and joint tension. This can help the jaw muscles relax and provide some much-needed pain relief. Jaw stretching exercises often involve sliding out the jaw in various positions, like side to side or front to back.

Relaxation Exercises

TMJ disorder usually comes as a result of stress that causes tension all over the body and the jaw muscles. To help reduce strength, simple relaxation exercises, such as breathing exercises, can be done either with a physical therapist or at home.

Get Help for TMD Today

You don't have to live with the pain and discomfort of TMJ disorder. Whether your TMJ disorder is due to genetics, a personal injury, or current stress, effective treatments are available to alleviate pain and increase jaw movement.

At Hogan Spine and Rehabilitation Center, our staff is dedicated to providing the best physical therapy for TMJ in Sugarland for our clients! If you suffered far too long with TMJ disorder, contact us to find relief at (281) 729-6625.

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