What is it ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is the most used joint in the body. Your TMJ’s (jaw joints) are involved in many ways such as when you chew your food, talk and breathe. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is when the jaws do not function as they are supposed to

What Causes It?

  • Displacement Of The TMJ Articular Disc
  • Dysfunction Of Muscles Around The Jaw
  • Poor Bites E.G.Underbites Or Overbites
  • Bruxism: Nocturnal Grinding Of Teeth Which Increases Pressure In Asymmetrical Movement

What Causes It?

Stress Poor posture of the neck and head Removal of wisdom teeth
Poor head position while sleeping Whiplash


The most common symptoms are:

  • Jaw locking, making it hard to clench your jaw fully.
  • Popping. Grinding.
  • Pain around your ear.
  • Suffer from headaches, dizziness and upper neck pain.

Interesting Facts

  • 75% of patients who did conservative TMJ physiotherapy treatment resolved their condition within 3 months, research by Field 2002; which is consistent with the majority of clinical tests done.
  • TMJ is at least twice as high in women as men.
  • A high incident of TMJ syndrome is in adults aged 20-40 years.
  • A study of 299 females aged between 18-60 years suggests that, compared to non-smokers, female smokers younger than 30 years had a higher risk of temporomandibular disorder than older adults.


Some of the activities you might do with your physiotherapist include:

Muscle lengthening and massage

Joint mobilisation

  • Exercises that stretch the muscles around the jaw
  • Exercises that will strengthen the muscles around the jaw
  • Relaxation/Breathing exercises
  • Posture improvement and neck treatment

A dentist is always involved when dealing with the treatment of locked jaws and bruxism.