The temporomandibular joints are the points where the lower jaw attaches to the skull. The TMJ is a ball and socket, with the skull being the socket, and the top of the jaw bone being the ball. TMJ disorder or TMD is a term used to describe chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint.
Common symptoms of TMJ disorder or TMD include:
- pain in the TM joints associated with jaw movements
- locking episodes
- limited range of opening the mouth
- facial pain or facial muscle fatigue
- noises in the jaw like clicking, snapping, and popping
- frequent headaches
While mouth guards and medications work for some, temporomandibular joint pain therapy at the Feldenkrais Center is approached systematically. The Feldenkrais practitioner understands how the jaw attaches to the head and functions in a very particular way:
- the head is heavy and must sit on the spine in a way that allows the jaw to work properly
- the relationship of the head to the neck and spine is altered in nearly all patients with TMJ disorder
- Any deviation in the head and spine places excessive strain on the entire musculoskeletal system, including the muscles and joints of the TMJ
The Feldenkrais Method approach to TMJ treatment assumes that faulty interactions between body parts can cause excessive strain and pain in places remote from the problem. For example:
- a stiff upper back could be the underlying cause of TMJ by contributing to the altered position of the head and jaw
- the belly may be so weak that the head and jaw sit forward, a position unnatural and stressful for both areas
Visit the Feldenkrais Center to relieve TMJ pain.
TMJ relief comes from improving key relationships within the head and neck, and optimizing the function of the jaw as it relates to the rest of the upper body. You will receive therapy that involves the whole body, along with Feldenkrais exercises. Our goal is to optimize key relationships and prevent your jaw from being injured again. At the Feldenkrais Center, our approach to treating the causes of your TMJ disorder allows a faster and more effective recovery than traditional therapies.