Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

We push the limits of what’s possible for our patients.

Our specialist TMJ physiotherapists are uniquely positioned to provide effective treatment options due to their expertise in neuromusculoskeletal conditions

Situation – The Misery of Jaw Pain

Problems with the jaw, i.e., Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) – also sometimes referred to as ‘TMJ’, can severely impact a patient’s quality of life. TMD is one of the leading chronic musculoskeletal conditions in the general population after lower back pain.

Complication – TMD is Not Always What It Seems

Patients frequently present with complex and confusing symptoms that include – but might not be limited to, oro-facial and ear pain, tinnitus, fatigue and pain when chewing, locking or clicking jaw, muscle and joint pain, malocclusion, headaches or cervical pain.

Despite TMD being so commonplace, effective treatment is notoriously difficult because it might be accompanied by other (sometimes related) conditions and pain syndromes. Additionally, the underlying cause may have its roots in overlapping neurological or musculoskeletal conditions.

Patients often suffer symptoms for several years and explore some therapies (e.g., massage, dental splints, etc.), only to get temporary or partial relief.

Resolution – You Don’t Have to Grin and Bear It

At Parkway, our goal is to better understand and treat the underlying cause of TMD and provide lasting relief. Fortunately, our specialist TMJ physiotherapists are uniquely positioned to provide effective treatment options due to their expertise in neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

Solution – Connecting the Dots and the Right Resources

Parkway’s holistic approach matches the complexity of the problem. Patients are refreshingly surprised by the thoroughness of our initial assessment. This extends beyond examining the head and neck and involves a full body assessment to determine the potential root cause. For
instance, we look at the role of posture, chronic respiratory patterns or We require a thorough medical history while conducting a comprehensive physical assessment of the jaw and the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Education and reassurance are key to patients’ engagement with their treatment plan, as is an understanding of their prognosis and goals and the importance of their home exercise plan (HEP). Treatments focus on providing symptomatic relief, consultation regarding exercises and ongoing pain management strategies.

Discharge from physiotherapy only happens when the patient has the tools to manage their symptoms independently (if chronic) or have reached their goal for symptom alleviation in more acute cases.

Teamwork is the cornerstone of everything we do at Parkway, and we acknowledge and embrace our pivotal role in the collaborative team effort. Studies have shown that while physiotherapy techniques and a comprehensive HEP can decrease pain and improve mobility,
collaboration with other treatment and care providers is also vital. We, therefore, work closely with dentists, oral surgeons, TMJ dental specialists and Orthodontists to maximize the potential success of the overall care plan and improve and restore patients’ quality of life.

Introducing Brooke Eveleigh

Brooke Eveleigh, TMD SpecialistBrooke has just joined our Parkway Physiotherapy team.
She worked at a TMJ specialty clinic in Ottawa since 2016 and is pleased
to accept new clients with jaw-related (or concussion) related issues.

Book with Brooke 250-478-7227


1. Schiffman, Eric et al. “Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (DC/TMD) for Clinical and Research Applications: Recommendations of the International RDC/TMD Consortium Network* and Orofacial Pain Special Interest Group†.” Journal of oral & facial pain and headache vol. 28,1 (2014): 6-27. doi:10.11607/jop.1151

2. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Health Care Services; Board on Health Sciences Policy; Committee on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs): From Research Discoveries to Clinical Treatment. Temporomandibular Disorders: Priorities for Research and Care. Edited by Olivia Yost et. al., National Academies Press (US), 12 March 2020. doi:10.17226/25652

3. Delgado de la Serna, Pablo et al. “Effects of Cervico-Mandibular Manual Therapy in Patients with Temporomandibular Pain Disorders and Associated Somatic Tinnitus: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.) vol. 21,3 (2020): 613-624. doi:10.1093/pm/pnz278

4. Tuncer, Aysenur Besler et al. “Effectiveness of manual therapy and home physical therapy in patients withtemporomandibular disorders: A randomized controlled trial.” Journal of bodywork and movement therapies vol.17,3 (2013): 302-8. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2012.10.006

5. Espí-López, Gemma Victoria et al. “Effect of Manual Therapy and Splint Therapy in People with Temporomandibular Disorders: A Preliminary Study.” Journal of clinical medicine vol. 9,8 2411. 28 Jul. 2020, doi:10.3390/jcm9082411

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