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TMJ (jaw joint dysfunction)

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint”, or jaw joint. These are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw to the skull, and happen to be the most complex joints in the entire body. The area of the face where the TMJ is located is an intricate network of bones, including the teeth, muscles, and nerves. Because of this, TMJ (dysfunction) conditions affect many areas of the body from the top of the head in migraine-like headaches to numbness or tingling in the arms and pain in the neck or shoulders.

TMJ is a term used to describe a group of symptoms In many cases people suffering from TMJ report chronic pain in the jaw, teeth, face, head, neck, shoulders, or back, or any combination of these areas. Snoring, grinding of teeth, frequent ear infections and restricted airway are other problems associated with TMJ. This group of symptoms is also referred to as MPD (myofascial pain dysfunction) and craniomandibular dysfunction.

Who Suffers From TMJ

The majority of people suffer to a greater or lesser degree from TMJ. Although women report more pain from TMJ. TMJ in men causes as much or more damage to the teeth, gums, bones and joints. Children are especially sensitive to TMJ and usually show early signs with ear infections, leaning their head on an arm, lip, cheek, or finger biting, sucking or chewing, headaches, snoring, grinding of their teeth at night, and significant chewing of gum.

What Causes TMJ

In most cases, TMJ disorders stem from having a “bad bite” or accidents and trauma. It means that your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way—they are misaligned. When the teeth are misaligned, they cannot provide the support the muscles in the face need for chewing and swallowing. These muscles are then forced into a strained position, resulting in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders, and back. Although a person may have beautiful teeth or had orthodontics to line the teeth up for aesthetic reasons, the muscles and joints may not be comfortable.

The TMJ is made up of the temporalis, interal pterygoid, lateral pterygoid and the masseter muscles. And when ever the TMJ muscles used in chewing fail to work in combination with each other, there are effective balancing techniques that our licensed therapists are skilled performing.

Medical Massage Treatment

The good news is that your therapeutic massage sessions can help to get rid of your TMJ pain. Medical Massage will balance musculoskeletal distortion in face, neck, shoulders and upper back in order to eliminate your TMJ pain.

We don't pretend to be experts on all the intricacies associated with TMJ, however what we do know and what we do well at Holistic Medical Massage Clinic is understand biomechanics, muscles and myfascial pain syndromes.

On the first visit the therapist evaluates the patient by screening gait patterns and measuring the positioning of the body to determine musculoskeletal distortion, biomechanical dysfunction and soft tissue pathology that causes these patterns. An exacting analysis of proper posture and biomechanics explains the cause and effect relationship to pain. Once we know how your body works, we can determine the reason why you have pain and the other symptoms.

Then the therapist develops a treatment plan that is based on the knowledge of your body. We don’t guess, we know how to treat you because of exact analysis of your body and understanding of your problem. Your therapeutic massage treatment is custom designed for you because we apply pressure and specific techniques that are unique only for your body. That’s why our treatment for your TMJ Pain at Holistic Medical Massage Clinic in Tacoma is effective and different from others.

Our staff at Holistic Medical Massage Clinic is fully trained to perform the necessary assessments, documentation, and progress reporting required by the insurance companies and medical community. We have the experience, expertise and staff to get most of your massage and manual therapy covered by your health insurance plan.


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