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TMJ pain, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a common condition that affects the jaw joints. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as misalignment of the jaw bones, trauma to the jaw, grinding or clenching teeth, arthritis, and stress. Symptoms of TMJ pain can range from mild discomfort to chronic pain in the face and neck. Physiotherapy is a viable treatment option for those suffering from TMJ pain, as it can help reduce inflammation, improve mobility and strength, and provide relief from associated symptoms. In this blog post, we will discuss what TMJ pain is, how physiotherapy can help with its relief, and what exercises are recommended for alleviating the discomfort.

What is TMJ Pain?

TMJ pain, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a common condition that affects the jaw joints. It can cause pain, discomfort and a limited range of motion in the area. Symptoms can include headaches, facial pain, tenderness in the jaw area and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. The exact cause of TMJ pain can vary from person to person and could be due to misalignment of the jaw bones, trauma to the jaw, grinding or clenching teeth at night (bruxism), arthritis or stress.

Diagram of a jaw

Common Causes

Common causes of TMJ pain may include poor posture during activities such as talking on the phone or working on a computer; arthritis; muscle tension due to clenching or grinding teeth; misalignment of the teeth or jaws; trauma to the face such as whiplash injuries; stress which leads to excessive tension in facial muscles; and it can also develop due to bruxism (teeth grinding).

How Physiotherapy Can Help Relieve TMJ Pain

Physiotherapists are trained specifically to treat TMJ pain. They use a variety of techniques as well as client education to help prevent TMJ pain in the future.

Types of Treatments Available

Treatment for TMJ pain typically includes physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and stress management. Physical therapy focuses on decreasing inflammation and improving mobility in the jaw joint region. Exercises may be recommended to strengthen the muscle groups around the jaw as well as flexibility exercises for an improved range of motion. Manual manipulation of the jaw joint can also help in restoring the optimal positioning of the jaw.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for TMJ Pain

Physiotherapy treatments are effective in reducing inflammation, improving strength and mobility in the affected area, and providing relief from symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. Physiotherapists can also provide advice on lifestyle modifications to reduce the stress that could be contributing to the condition, or suggest helpful relaxation techniques such as yoga or massage. In addition to physical treatment, physiotherapists may also recommend counselling or medications to manage any underlying mental health issues that may be influencing symptoms.

Jaw therapy

Recommendations to Reduce TMJ Pain at Home

The following tips may help reduce the pain associated with TMJ disorder and provide relief:

  • Use moist heat or cold packs to reduce inflammation.
  • Perform jaw stretches and strengthening exercises as recommended by a physiotherapist.
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that require excessive jaw movement.
  • Try relaxation techniques such as meditation or mindfulness.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication as directed by your doctor or health practitioner.
  • Practice good posture when sitting, standing and sleeping.
  • Invest in a custom-made orthotic mouthguard to wear at night if you grind your teeth while sleeping (bruxism).

TMJ Treatment at Bergin Motion

TMJ treatment by a physiotherapist requires a special certification and not all physiotherapists are specialized in TMJ treatment. Here at Bergin Motion in Barrie, Ontario, we have physiotherapists who have taken the training necessary to properly treat TMJ pain. If you are suffering in pain then it’s time to do something about it and book an appointment with one of our TMJ specialists.

Additional Resources

Healthline article on exercises for TMJ pain.

Physiopedia article on temporomandibular disorders.


TMJ disorder can be a difficult condition to manage, but there are proven treatments that provide relief from symptoms. Physiotherapy is safe and non-invasive while simple lifestyle changes or home remedies may also help reduce pain. If the pain persists or worsens, it’s important to seek medical advice for personalized solutions tailored to your needs!

About Bergin Motion

Barrie Ontario Physiotherapy

Bergin Motion is a Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic. Bergin Motion offers physiotherapy in Barrie to clients with a wide range of conditions.

The clinic in Barrie specializes in orthopedic, neurological, and pelvic health disciplines.

Bergin Motion treats clients both at their clinic and in the comfort of their own home if they cannot travel to the clinic.

Located in the south end of Barrie, Ontario, the physio clinic boasts 9000 sq. ft., with seven treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym.