What is the cause of the pain and clicking in my Jaw?

By Physiotherapist Manas Moholkar

Jaw and facial pain is quite a common problem, with 10-15% of Australian Adults experiencing such symptoms. This can be associated with headaches and also difficulty with chewing or even opening the mouth fully.

The Jaw joint is called the Temperomandibular joint or TMJ for short. This joint is where your jaw bone attaches to the skull.

The joint itself can cause pain and clicking or there can also be pain that comes from the muscles that we use to chew and speak. Often the clicking occurs when a disc within the joint isn’t moving normally because the joint is stiff or tight muscles are putting uneven pressure on the joint. Psychological stress and increased muscle tension can also contribute to the cause of these problems. Poor posture, especially someone who spends a lot of time at a computer with rounded shoulders and a forward head posture can more likely to have Jaw Problems.

    How Can TMJ problems and Jaw Pain be treated?

    Our Physiotherapist, Manas Moholkar is experienced in treating people with these problems. Manas will do a thorough assessment of your joint and the facial muscles both inside and outside your jaw. If the joint has restricted motion or the muscles are tight Manas will use some manual therapy and massage to loosen things up and this will help to get the Jaw moving normally again. You will also be provided with exercises to regain movement and to strengthen any weakness that may have been identified. If you need to improve your posture some of your treatment will involve postural strengthening. If you have issues with Stress and Anxiety you may be advised to work on relaxation techniques or a referral may be recommended for psychological support or counselling.

    At the Corio Bay Sports Treatment Clinic we really like to help you identify the cause of you Jaw problem, rather than just trying to address your symptoms. We do this so that we can help you resolve the problem completely and not just provide temporary relief.

    Are my Headaches coming from my Jaw?

    Headaches are a problem that can come from multiple sources and the Jaw is definitely one possibility. Manas will identify if your Jaw or its muscles are causing your headaches. It is quite common for headaches to come from the neck and shoulder muscles as well. Trigger points in the Upper trapezius and Sternocleidomastoid muscles as seen in the trigger point charts below can refer pain to the head. See the Blue and Orange patterns below which show where pain from these muscles is felt.

    If this is the case Manas will be able to work on these areas as well and give you exercises to help you loosen anything that is tight and strengthen anything that is weak. Again by improving your posture and holding your head, neck and jaw in a better position will make a massive difference.

    How do I organise an assessment and treatment for my Jaw Problem?

    Whilst you are on our website you can go to our book now button and book an appointment with Manas today. Alternatively you can call the clinic on 52322400 and ask one of our friendly admin team to provide you with an appointment with Manas.

    Book An Appointment

    Come and have a chat with one of our physiotherapists to see if we can help improve your health. Book online or call the clinic on (03) 5232 2400.