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Jaw Pain Part 2: How do we approach TMD?

If you or someone you know has jaw issues or TMD, then this post is definitely for you. In the video below, Martin outlines how we typically approach assessing and managing TMD when someone presents to our practice with it.

As you can see, due to how frequently we deal with clients with TMD, we had to develop an assessment protocol to determine first of all, are we the right people to address your issue? If so, what exactly is wrong and what is the most efficient way to get this person on track?

If you’re still unclear exactly what TMD is, please feel free to watch the first video in this series where Martin answers “What is TMD?

As always, the video has been transcribed below for those of you who like blogs in a more old school format.

Hi, Martin here from Align Chiropractic what I wanted to talk to you about today was our approach in dealing with people who have TMD or temporomandibular disfunction. 

TMD is a really common condition, very commonly, in fact it's four times more likely and women and it's typically more common in people who are in that age group about 20 to 40, It is often painful, the jaw is often clicking and it can affect overall ability to open or even close the jaw properly.


When you have TMD, it often has wide-ranging effects because it effects eating, speaking, sleeping and exercising, so basically, lots of things that affect all aspects of our life; Our social life, our work life, our hobbies and really any activities that we love to do. 

So it’s something that you really want to get handled! 

Our approach is to take quite a comprehensive view. We certainly have a look at the jaw itself and we'll be measuring your ability to open your jaw, and you should be able to open your jaw around about 40 millimetres. 

We also assess a thing called lateral glide which is essentially your ability to move your jaw one way and then the other, and that should be equal left and right. We're also measuring it with special callipers to just see that it should be about 10 millimetres. 


The jaw doesn’t work in isolation though, so we'll also be looking at your overall posture. There's a really common association with forward movement of the head increasing the likelihood or has a strong association with jaw issues. Also the way that the neck joints work can have an interplay with the way the jaw works and so we also make sure that we do an assessment of the way that your jaw is working. 

As well, we’ll do some palpation, some hands on feeling of the muscles around your jaw which actually extend all the way up into the temporal area and extend down into the upper neck of the front. 

Then if we feel like we can help you, we will formulate a plan to get you back on track in terms of how your jaw is working and get you back to doing the things that you love to do, or that you have to do that the jaw is making it harder for you to do.  

Now, typically in terms of that hands-on care like all problems it's a 50/50 process there's certainly some hands-on things that we'll be doing to gently encourage more movement and less tension in the jaw, but we'll also be having exercises and home care that you can do to make sure that you get the best results as quickly as possible.

So if you're having trouble with jaw issues, whether it's popping clicking pain or just feeling out of balance, then please give us a call and let's get you back on track as quickly as possible.