Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Injuries

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INJURY TITLE

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Injuries

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

The TMJ is known as the jaw.  Trauma to the jaw can cause fracture and or dislocation of this joint.  The actual structure and movement of the joint can also lead to pain if it is poorly aligned

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The TMJ is largely similar to other joints in the body (in terms of structure) but one of the pieces of the joint (called the meniscus) is mobile.  This structure leaves and entres the joint when you open and close your mouth.  Problems with this mobility will lead to problems like lock –jaw.  Pain can be referred to the TMJ from movement problems in the upper neck.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Pain
  • Limitation of movement
  • Clicking of the joint
  • Locking of the joint

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical examination to exclude other causes of pain in that region (including the neck)
  • Use of X-Ray and possibly MRI to isolate the cause of the pain

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Manual therapy aimed at joint mobilisation and soft tissue release
  • Dental interventions addressing joint alignment

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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