TMJ MASSAGE TREATMENT
A typical TMJ massage treatment session will include an assessment of muscle and facial asymmetries, as well as palpation of the masticator (chewing) muscles. The massage will work to decrease tension in the facial muscles, decrease trigger points and release fascial adhesions. Due to the complex connection of certain muscles and bones, intra-oral massage should be integrated to relieve several cranial dysfunctions that are inaccessible externally.
Although TMJ massage treatment can be very beneficial in treating TMJ Disorder, the client must continue the treatment at home due to the chronic nature of TMJ dysfunctions.
Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ is characterized by pain and/or dysfunction in the jaw and surrounding tissues. TMJ issues can result from an asymmetry of the chewing muscles, forward head posture, tight neck muscles, trigger points, injury to the jaw or head, whiplash, stress, uneven or missing teeth, grinding and clenching the teeth.
Some signs and symptoms can include:
- Jaw tenderness and aches
- Pain radiating to the ear, neck and shoulders
- Aggravated by chewing
- Jaw deviation with opening/closing
- Can mimic toothaches
Treatments for TMJ disorder include splint therapy, analgesics, surgery, stress management, acupuncture, trigger point therapy, hydrotherapy and massage therapy. Data from focus groups and surveys of people with TMJ disorder suggest people experience frustration with conventional treatment, but are often satisfied with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments, especially massage therapy. However, literature regarding the effectiveness of massage therapy on TMJ disorder is limited and shows varying degrees of success, warranting more research on the topic. Pierson’s case report is important because it shows the benefit of a treatment plan with detailed measurements of the outcomes associated with TMJ disorder.
Read Jenna’s recent blog on, “Massage Therapy for TMJ“
For more information: Benefits of Using Massage Therapy to Treat TMJ.