I’m suffering with jaw clicking. Can you help?
When a person is suffering with jaw clicking, it’s down to a common problem with the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). We’ll talk you through this below so you can decide if a head and neck massage is the answer to your jaw clicking pain.
Facts about temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
This is the part of your jaw that connect to your skull. When this is injured or damaged, we feel pain in a localised area. This is TMJ syndrome, where we feel tenderness or pain in the temporal area of our jaw.
There’s a few causes for your jaw clicking through TMJ syndrome.
Do you grind your teeth or bite the inside of your mouth? Moving our jaw in this unnatural position leads to it falling out of alignment. Our muscles in our face and cheeks tighten and over time we become locked in that position.
This leads to jaw pain and our jaw clicking and popping. Sometimes even tinnitus.
By our mouth being out of alignment, it can also affect on the nerves. And this is when we get ear pain or earache, headaches and pain in our temple. It can also lead to popping sounds in our ears as we move our jaw back into alignment from where it has being locked.
The temporomandibular joints are complex structures. They contain a mix of interconnecting muscles, tendons and cartilage. And bone. TMJ syndrome is a disorder of these muscles, and nerves caused by injury. Often this injury is self inflicted, but it’s injury.
The temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed and as with any injury, this leads to pain when we use the area. So, you’ll feel pain chewing, or the clicking and cracking and the other symptoms we described above.
In addition, though, you may find that your Eustachian tube dysfunctions. This is the tube that connects the ears and the nose so it can then lead to breathing issues such as hay-fever.
What puts you at high risk of TMJ pain and dysfunction?
- If your posture is poor, around your neck and upper back then this leads to neck strain. As your neck muscles connect to your jaw, this can lead to TMJ
- Stress causes jaw tension in many people and so can lead to dysfunction
- There is an increased risk for females 18 – 44
- Patients with different chronic inflammatory arthritis have increased risk
- Any kind of previous jaw trauma will put you at higher risk of TMJ disorder likewise with poorly positioned teeth.
- Some people just have a genetic predisposition to pain sensitivity. This leads to them having an increased stress response, which as we discussed in point two above, leads them to be more susceptible.
How can massage help with TML disorders?
In terms of treatment, it depends why you are suffering. We’ve discussed the reasons above, but massage will not fix a genetic malfunction of your jaw.
What it often does and is very effective at doing, is easing muscle tension. So, if you are born with a defective joint function, misaligned teeth etc then we can loosen the muscles that have tightened around the area to give more space to your jaw functioning.
Likewise, if you are under stress and this leads to you, having a tight jaw or biting the inside of your mouth whilst you think to grinding teeth at night, then we can also help. Again, we’ll loosen tight muscles with massage therapy and as your jaw relaxes, you’ll find that any severe pain also eases.
How will you use massage to help?
As you’ve seen from the symptoms of jaw clicking, the TMJ can be tight for original reasons. Our skilled massage therapist will track your tension back to its root cause. This is where the focus of the massage will be.
Some people may need a neck massage to relax tight muscles from poor posture. Others may need their face and jaw working directly because of physical oral clenching, which is pushing bones out of alignment.
You may require more than one session and your treatments will be close together. The reason for this is that, as we’ve seen, your pain is coming from repeated behaviour. So, to deal with this we need to use a compound effect, bringing you in for another treatment to relieve your symptoms before your learned behaviour pushes you backwards again.
We’ll combine this with advice and some exercises helpful to prevent your inflammation and discomfort from re-occurring and give you a longer term freedom of movement.
To book in for a head and neck massage for TMJ, then please book online.