Lazing in bed this morning before I get up for work reviewing and researching the structures and functions/dysfunctions of the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) and thought I'd share some things about the joint with you all.
1️⃣ This is an area of the body that I feel doesn't get enough attention and it's only when there is direct pain or discomfort here do people start to take notice, however it can indirectly be responsible for that lingering neck pain that you always seem to have or the constant tightness in your upper traps or headaches.
2️⃣ There is a strong correlation between forward head posture and TMJ dysfunction.
3️⃣ The TMJ is the most used joint in the body as its the joint that facilitates chewing, talking, yawning and making facial expressions, which can occur up to 2,000 times per day!
4️⃣ The muscles surrounding the joint are workhorses and some of the strongest muscles in the body relative to their size.
5️⃣ Due to this, these little muscles primarily the masseters and temporalis muscles tend to be the go to places to stabilise when the body is feeling unstable and they also contract when the body is stressed.
6️⃣ It is thought that up to 33% of the population are affected by TMJ dysfunction.
7️⃣ The symptoms not only include the obvious jaw and face pain, clicking or popping of the joint, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, clenching and grinding of teeth, neck pain and muscle tenderness but can also include headaches, pain in and around your ear, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or a feeling of fullness, toothache not related to issues with teeth, dizziness, pain behind the eyes, sensitivity to light and tearing of the eyes.
8️⃣ Soft tissue work can be really affective at reducing or even eliminating the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. Helping to improve range of motion and more optimal
movement of the joint, reducing hypertonicity and trigger points within the muscles can all help to reduce pain and discomfort.
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