Jaw Pain is a general term that refers to any kind of pain or discomfort felt in the Jaw. Jaw Pain is a common problem that people experience, and may affect three in five people over the course of their lives.
Jaw Pain is felt in one or both sides of the jaw, though you may feel the pain in areas of your face, the head, and in your neck if there is inflammation which irritates the nerves. Because of the number of nerves that pass over and around the jaw, pain may be felt in the head, eyes, neck, lips, and within the teeth. Jaw Pain may last from weeks to months depending on the nature of the pain, the cause, the progression, and the speed with which treatment is sought.
Jaw Pain is caused by irritation of the Jaw Joint, also called the Temporomandibular Joint. The specific cause of the pain depends on many factors like the age of the person experiencing the pain, their occupation, whether the pain was caused by an accident or started rapidly, as well as other variables. Jaw Pain can come about due to grinding of the teeth (also called Bruxism,) following dental surgery, following infection or illness, and following trauma.
Jaw Pain can also be caused by stress. Psychological stress can result in physical behaviours like grinding the teeth during waking or sleeping hours, and clicking or locking of the Jaw Joint. Stress can also have an adverse effect on pain, as well as affecting the effectiveness of treatment performed in clinic. With this in mind, if stress is suspected to be a contributing factor to your Jaw Pain, appropriate referral will be discussed.
Jaw Pain may be experienced as a constant pain on one or both sides of the Jaw. Additionally, Jaw Pain may be accompanied by clicking, grinding, and locking of the jaw joint if there is weardown of or damage to the internal strutures or capsule of the jaw joint.
Jaw Pain commonly presents with a headache as well as neck pain. During your assessment, you will be asked whether or not you experience headaches, and if so, the frequency and nature of your discomfort. You will also be assessed for evidence of grinding of your teeth, and if so, if you have sought input from a dentist.
Management of Jaw Pain depends on the cause of the pain, how it feels and changes over the day, what makes it better or worse, and the length of time you have been experiencing the pain. All of these factors will be addressed in your initial assessment, which is the first step towards minimising and managing any pain or discomfort. The treatment you receive will be tailored to address the specific cause of your Jaw Pain, and will focus on minimising pain, maximising your ability to move pain free, and developing a plan to minimise the risk of a flare-up in the future.
At Atlas Physio, we will provide you with education, structured management, and ongoing monitoring of your pain both in and out of the clinic. Contact us to arrange an assessment, and to take the first step on a course of corrective care today.