What is Temporal-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction?
Do you have a history of dental work, clicking, locking or popping sounds of the jaw?
Each TMJ case will present with a different combination of signs and symptoms. There is never a recipe for massage therapy treatments, there are however, principles that provide a foundation to critical thinking.
Therapist, Heather MacCormac has been developing mastery in intra-oral techniques and applications for several years. Her interest began with her studies in Cranio-Sacral Therapy.
In the fall of 2014, Heather continued exploring the principles and concepts of TMJ dysfunction – “TMJ Mastery” – under the instruction of John Corry, a highly skilled practitioner based in Ontario who facilitates 3-Day workshops and has been pursuing innovative applications with TMJ cases since the early 90s.
“TMJ dysfunction is acknowledged as a very complex area of the body. It is often an expression of, or a silent contributor to headaches, motor vehicle accidents (MVA), Scoliosis, cervical spine, neck and head postural issues – especially hyper-kyphosis and shoulder protraction.”
TMJ dysfunction can be found in patients who present with SIJ dysfunction, a history of orthodontic applications, trauma, sport injuries, and repetitive strain injuries (RSI). TMJ work can be extremely therapeutic and useful for singers, actors and broadcasters, and musicians.
While the TMJ is acknowledged as a very complex system, there can be psychological origins or components contributing to the dysfunction – meaning physical stress or illnesses that stems from and manifests as a result of emotional or mental stressors. Teeth clinching is a very common example.
Clarity Garden – Assessment Principles and Approach
The first approach in many TMJ dysfunction cases often addresses pain and stiffness. Before patients receive treatment, a full assessment of presenting issues are recorded to establish a baseline.
For example, is there any pain, level of pain, soreness of teeth, and can the person open their mouth adequately with or without pain. Do they have a history of orthodontic applications (dental work and braces) and is there any clicking or popping sounds or any events of locking?
Clarity Garden – Treatment Protocol & Principles
Many times there will be a contra-lateral presentation where the patient will report pain and stiffness on one side and the condylar delay will be on the other side. Often both condyles are delayed but one is predominantly so.
The treatment begins with the goal to decrease hypertonicity in the masticatory muscles as a way toward symmetrical condylar movement, and revealing other causal factors.