Jaw & Face Pain

The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) or jaw is a complex mechanical joint system which allows us to chew, speak, yawn and perform many other daily functions. Most people don’t realise that the jaw is intimately related with the neck, inner ear, teeth and base of the skull and works with these other structures to create normal movement patterns.

Common complaints we hear from our TMJ patients include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Clicking
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Restricted chewing action
  • Face pain
  • Ear Fullness or blockages
  • Dizziness

Research has shown that TMJ pain and dysfunction is common in clients who also have:

  • Neck pain
  • Thoracic pain
  • Low back pain
  • Scoliosis
  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stress sufferers
  • Those who have been involved in past motor vehicle accidents

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a localized pain disorder called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

Jaw pain? Physiotherapy can help.

Although our physiotherapists at Wellers Hill Physiotherapy are getting more referral from dentists and ENT surgeons, many people are not aware that physiotherapy can treat a wide range of symptoms caused by a dysfunction of the temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).

Common symptoms can include local jaw pain, a clicking jaw, ear fullness and muscle tension around the jaw.


The TMJ is a more complex structure compared to our other joints in the body because of the interaction among the disc and surrounding muscles, ligaments, TMJ joint and the bones of the skull. Furthermore, it is supplied by blood vessels and many nerves which make it sensitive to pain.

What can cause a TMJ problem?

Disorders in this joint rarely occur as single symptoms but more often as multiple problems with overlapping symptoms. Usually the pain, tension and degeneration are caused by anatomical features. Pain can also occur after a period of teeth grinding, bite problems or even after having to open you mouth for a long period of time at the dentist. A history of trauma, such as whiplash or a hit on the face or head can also influence the jaw.

Anything that places stress on your teeth and facial muscles places you at risk of developing a problem with your jaw joints. Bruxism (grinding your teeth), malocclusion, head injuries, and arthritis are some of the most commonly associated diagnoses.


About 25% of the adult population suffers from TMJ Disorder to some extent, although some cases are more severe than others.


A number of symptoms exhibited by individuals with TMJ include clicking noises when chewing, immobility or difficulty moving the jaw, pain in the jaw, neck and head, ear aches/fullness and headaches. Dizziness, tinnitus and cervical spine pain can also be associated with TMJ.

How can Physiotherapy help?

The TMJ can be affected by several factors – the position of the head, the Cervical spine, the hyoid bone and our posture are often responsible for a TMJ dysfunction. A Specialised therapist will assess the TMJ together with it’s surrounding structures, the Cervical spine, the shoulder girdle complex and analyse the posture of the patient. The tongue, mouth and facial functions will also be assessed to get a clear view of the actual cause of the jaw pain or referred pain.

TMJ exercises and treatment may include:

  • Posture improvement and neck treatment
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Muscle lengthening or massage
  • Joint mobilisation
  • TMJ movement pattern and timing correction
  • Passive, active-assisted, active exercises
  • TMJ stabilisation exercises

Depending on the diagnosis, our highly skilled physiotherapist at Wellers Hill  Physiotherapy have a variety of effective treatment options. These can include soft tissue releases, massage and trigger point therapy to decrease the tension of the jaw, facial and neck muscles supported by mobilisation techniques to decrease pain and improve correct mobility of the TMJ.

Advice on the right posture and home exercises are essential for recruiting and strengthening the weakened face, neck and shoulder girdle muscles and to assist on establishing correct postural; alignment. We encourage our patients to continue with their exercises and postural correction to maintain prolonged improvement.

Most patients will experience an improvement with the TMJ physiotherapy offered at Wellers Hill Physiotherapy and are thankful that they benefited from our expertise in the field of TMJ treatment.

At Wellers Hill and Woolloongabba Physiotherapy, we have experienced physiotherapists who can assess and treat TMJ along with any other mechanical structures that may be involved. Our team are trained to perform specialised releases techniques and provide you with individual exercises to achieve normal TMJ motion and reduce pain.

Our reputation for success in the treatment of TMJ /Jaw pain has ensured that we are the preferred Physiotherapy provider by many Medical Specialists especially ENT surgeons, General Practitioners, Dentists and Dental specialists in the greater Brisbane region.

You’ll be very happy that you sort help from the expert Physiotherapy team at Wellers Hill and Woolloongabba Physiotherapy to assist in reducing your symptoms.

Start enjoying and living life without that Jaw, Face and Ear pain.


Wellers Hill Physiotherapy 3892 7501 or Woolloongabba Physiotherapy 3391 3331.