To find the root cause of the problem we would first note all the details about how symptoms came about, timing, daily pattern and aggravating or relieving factors.
We also ask about any issues with your neck, headaches, dental and general health, and any significant events in the past such as accidents or surgery.
We then observe your jaw in motion, as well as the neck and if appropriate the rest of the spine – making note of any restrictions or pain. We may also perform special tests to assess the nerves, joints, muscles and ligaments in the area.
Once we have established our working diagnosis we will always take time to explain to you what we found and let you know how we can help, and whether we need to make any referrals.
We use specific massage, mobilisation, manipulation and stretching techniques to improve the flexibility in joints and muscles, relieve tension, and ensure good circulation for effective recovery.
During the session, we also provide advice on exercise, stretches and other techniques to aid fast recovery and maintain the treatment results.
These are some of the most common techniques and exercises we prescribe for knee injuries or pain:
Strengthening the muscles which open the jaw:
Place a thumb under your chin and push your chin downward against it.
Continue opening the mouth against moderate force from your thumb, and then hold it open for 5-10 seconds.
Strengthening the muscles which close the jaw:
Open your mouth. Squeeze your chin with your index and thumb fingers.
Close your mouth while keeping a gentle downwards pressure on your chin to resist the movement.
Repeat each of these two exercise 5 times, 1-3 times a day.
If you experience any pain, try to reduce the pressure or the range of movement (ie open the mouth less).
Self-massage for the jaw and temples
The strengthening exercises above work really well coupled with massaging the muscles all along both sides of the face:
Start from the temples, and massage down along the side of your face, just in front of your ears and under the cheekbones.
Continue along the jawline, and under the jawline, until you reach the chin.
Neck strength and stretch exercises
Jaw and TMJ problems often present alongside neck pain or stiffness, as the two areas are very closely linked. For this reason, we usually also prescribe neck exercises to help achieve good results when treating the jaw. Follow the link for our favourite neck exercises.