What is TMJ?

TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder affects the joints connecting your jawbone to your skull. These joints, located on either side of your head, play a crucial role in daily functions like chewing, talking, and yawning. When the joint is not functioning properly, it can lead to significant discomfort and a range of symptoms that can impact your quality of life.

Symptoms of TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint disorders can manifest in various ways, making it essential to recognise the symptoms early for effective treatment. Common symptoms include:

Jaw Pain

Persistent pain or tenderness in the jaw, which can extend to the face, neck, and shoulders.

Difficulty Chewing

Pain or discomfort while chewing or biting.


The jaw may get stuck in an open or closed position.

Clicking or Popping Sounds

Audible sounds when opening or closing the mouth.

TMJ and Ear Pain

Pain in or around the ears, sometimes accompanied by ringing (tinnitus).


Frequent headaches or migraines.


Swelling on the sides of the face.

Recognising these symptoms is the first step towards seeking appropriate treatment and relief from TMJ disorders.
Treatment Steps for TMJ

Effective management of TMJ involves a multi-faceted approach. Here are the steps you can take to treat TMJ:

Visit Your Dentist

Assessment and Diagnosis:

The first step in treating TMJ is to visit your dentist for a thorough examination. Your dentist can diagnose TMJ by examining your jaw and discussing your symptoms. They may take X-rays or recommend other imaging tests to get a clear view of the jaw joints and surrounding tissues.

Dental Appliances:

Your dentist may recommend a splint or mouthguard to prevent teeth grinding and clenching, which can exacerbate TMJ symptoms. These devices can help reduce strain on the jaw muscles and joints.

Consult a Physical Therapist at the Neuromuscular & Sports Injury Clinic

Therapeutic Exercises:

A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles and improve joint function. These exercises can help alleviate pain and enhance mobility.

Manual Therapy:

Physical therapists may use techniques such as massage and joint mobilisation to relieve tension and improve jaw function.

Visit a Massage Therapist at the Neuromuscular & Sports Injury Clinic

Targeted Massage:

A massage therapist can perform specialised massage techniques to reduce muscle tension in the jaw, neck, and shoulders. This can help alleviate pain and improve blood flow to the affected areas.

Stress Reduction:

Regular massages can also help manage stress, which is often a contributing factor to TMJ disorders.
Our Neuromuscular Physical Therapist, Mariela, has extensive experience in successfully treating TMJ.

Apply Heat or Cold Therapy

Heat Therapy:

Applying a warm compress to the jaw can help relax the muscles and reduce pain.

Cold Therapy:

Using an ice pack can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain.

Practice Good Posture affects TMJ


Maintaining good posture, especially during activities that involve prolonged use of the jaw, can help prevent strain on the joint. Ensure that your workstation is ergonomically designed to reduce stress on the neck and shoulders.

Manage Stress

Relaxation Techniques:

Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and prevent TMJ flare-ups.

Avoid Hard or Chewy Foods

Dietary Adjustments:

Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum, hard candies, and other foods that require excessive chewing can help reduce stress on the jaw.

Importance of Early Treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment of TMJ are crucial for preventing the condition from worsening. Ignoring TMJ symptoms can lead to chronic pain and more severe complications, making it essential to seek professional help as soon as you notice any signs of TMJ.

By following these treatment steps and working closely with healthcare professionals, you can effectively manage TMJ and improve your quality of life.

What Mariela’s client, Sue, had to say about her experience with TMJ treatment:

“When I went for my treatment with Mariela I was in a lot of pain with TMJ. I had tried everything, even some very expensive Botox treatment in my jaws, but nothing helped. The result after one session with Mariela was really remarkable. I am so grateful. I know now exactly where to go if this ever happens again”

Book your appointment with Mariela now to experience relief from TMJ pain!

Profile photo of Mariela, our NMT, sanding infront of the clinic