Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain

The Temporomandibular Joint (The TMJ)


The Temporomandibular Joint is where your jaw bone (mandible) meets your temporal bone (part of your skull).   The TMJ is a unique joint in the body and along with the muscles involved in eating and talking and opening and closing the jaw, it is affected by excessive joint loading such as clenching during stress or due to poor head and neck posture and also due to poor occlusion (teeth malalignment).  The neck joints and muscles are also closely linked with the TMJ due to their joint and muscle connections as well as nerve pathways between the neck and lower brain.  These structures can cause pain and dysfunction in the face, neck and head leading to high levels of distress and anxiety.

Symptoms May Include


  • Pain or discomfort over the TMJ, ear or side of face
  • Clicking or locking of the jaw, and/or other joint noises such as crepitus or popping noises
  • Limited jaw opening
  • Toothache, pain in the mouth, tongue or hard palate
  • Headache
  • Tinnitus or altered hearing

Causes May Include


  • Trauma, ie Whiplash or a direct blow to the jaw
  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth (daytime and nighttime)
  • Poor head and neck posture
  • Teeth malalignment and orthodontics
  • Stress
  • Prolonged dental work

Our Physiotherapist Cathy Gordon

Vestibular and TMJ (Jaw) problems are the specialist area of Physiotherapist Cathy Gordon, who is the co-founder of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Temperomandibular Disorders (ACPTMD).

More about Cathy here

Cathy as part of the British delegation at the inaugural conference of the Dutch TMJ Physio Association

Physiotherapy for TMJ Problems


To reduce pain and restore joint movement and muscle imbalances in the jaw, neck and upper back muscles, physiotherapy can be very beneficial. 

Treatment can include mobilisations and stretching techniques to the TMJ and neck and upper back joints, postural correction, soft tissue techniques to the jaw and neck and back muscles and jaw proprioception and spinal core muscle training if necessary. 

Acupuncture is also very beneficial in reducing pain. 

We will give you advice on reducing your stress levels, reducing jaw habits and restoring you to full function

Fizziostuff UK Ltd trading as Wilmslow Physio

Wilmslow Physio: 20A Grove Street, Wilmslow SK9 1EB

T: 01625530794

F: 01625 540010

Company Number 03052852

Registered Address SImpson Burgess Nash Empress Business Centre, 380 Chester Road, Manchester, M16 9EA

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