TMD (Jaw Pain)

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD) refer to a group of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions involving the temporomandibular joint (jaw) and the surrounding muscles. These conditions affect up to 15% of the population and typically improve with a combination of non-invasive therapies including physical therapy. Despite the effectiveness of such therapies, only 5% of people seek treatment. 1

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Symptoms may include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, face, ear or head
  • Clicking, popping or grinding of the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty opening, closing or sideways movement of the jaw
  • Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain

Role of physical therapy:

In conjunction with the care offered by your medical and dental providers, your physical therapist will use various exercises and manual therapy techniques to normalize the biomechanics of your jaw, neck and the surrounding muscles. They will also provide extensive education on how to better care for your jaw in the future.


1. Gauer R, Semidey M. Diagnosis and Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders. Am Fam Physician. 2015 Mar 15;91(6):378-386.