Massage Therapy for Temporomandibular Joint Pain
Up to 85 percent of North Americans will suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) at some point in their lives. Symptoms of the condition include pain as well as muscle spasms in the head, mandible, and shoulders and neck, headaches, earaches, and a clicking noise when the jaw is moved. In some cases, it can even be difficult for someone with this condition to open his or her mouth and an individual may even experience persistent dizziness due to the effects of TMJ.
There are a number of things that can cause TMJ to develop, such as anxiety, stress, posture issues, whiplash, and more. The good news is that massage therapy can help alleviate the symptoms associated with the condition.
Does Massage Therapy Help?
According to a study that followed individuals who suffered from this condition and underwent massage therapy sessions lasting 45 to 50 minutes each session, with intra-oral (within the mouth) massage as the main focus of the session, symptoms of TMJ were significantly reduced. In addition to the intra-oral massage, Shiatsu massage was performed on the study participants’ scalps to assist in restoring and maintaining the energy balance of the body, to prevent additional stress buildup, and to decrease pain. Study participants showed a significant increase in comfort and a decrease in symptoms following these treatments.
In addition, another study reported that when individuals received regular massage of the masseter (major chewing) muscles of the face, teeth-clenching and grinding was significantly reduced. Since these factors directly relate to TMJ, massage therapy may be one of the most effective non-invasive TMJ treatments available.
Getting Massage Therapy to Help Alleviate TMJ Symptoms
If you suffer from TMJ and wish to schedule an appointment with a massage therapist, make sure the massage therapist you select is familiar with TMJ and the forms of massage that will offer you the most relief from your symptoms. While the condition may not be corrected with just one session, over time regular session can significantly reduce any symptoms you may experience due to this condition.