Can Massage Therapy Help My TMJ Pain?

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Can TMJ Massage help fix my jaw pain?:

Massage can be very helpful for in managing TMJ pain.  Research shows that it reduces muscle tension, improves jaw movement, enhances blood circulation, reduces stress, and promotes relaxation.  Also, massage can help to promote proper posture to keep tension away from the muscles in your head and neck.  Massage can be an important part of a comprehensive approach that may also include physical therapy, stress management, and dental interventions if needed.

If your jaw hurts or makes clicking sounds, or is hard to move, you might have an issue with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint). This joint connects your jawbone to your skull and is important for activities like chewing and talking.  Here are some signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder: 

1. Jaw Pain:

If your jaw, just in front of your ear on both sides, hurts or feels tender, it could be TMJ pain.

2. Pain While Chewing:

Feeling discomfort or pain when you chew, bite, or yawn might mean you have TMJ issues, especially when eating hard or chewy foods.

3. Facial Pain: 

Pain or tenderness in the face muscles around your jaw and temples may be linked to TMJ problems. 

4.  Clicking or Popping Sounds:

Hearing clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when you move your jaw, especially when eating or opening your mouth, could be a sign of TMJ issues. 

5. Limited Jaw Movement:

If you find it hard to open your mouth wide or move your jaw from side to side, it might be a sign of TMJ problems.

6. Locking of the Jaw:

Sometimes the jaw can temporarily get stuck in an open or closed position due to muscle spasms or TMJ disc displacement.

7. Headaches or Earaches:

Pain in the TMJ can lead to headaches, earaches, or pain in the temples.

8. Swelling on the Side of the Face:

Swelling around the jaw joint might happen, adding to the discomfort.

9. Tooth Sensitivity:

TMJ issues can cause tooth sensitivity or pain even if your teeth are fine.

10. Tired or Stiff Jaw Muscles:

Feeling tired or stiff jaw muscles, especially in the morning, may be related to TMJ problems.

If you’re experiencing some of these signs and symptoms, see one of our expert physiotherapists or chiropractor, who can diagnose the cause of your pain.  They will perform an examination which might use imaging tests like X-rays or MRI to understand the condition of your TMJ.

Will TMJ Pain Get Better?

The good news is that most people with TMJ pain will get better over a short amount of time.  Many cases can be effectively treated with conservative measures, leading to relief and improved jaw function.  But early intervention is crucial, and here are things you can do to help: 

1. Take the time to understand the cause of your TMJ pain:

Knowing the cause can affect the prognosis i.e. muscle tension or joint inflammation.

2. Consider some conservative treatments:

Many people respond well to simple treatments like rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, jaw exercises, and stress management.

 3. Make some simple lifestyle changes:

Small changes like avoiding excessive gum chewing or eating soft foods can make a big difference.

4. Try night guards and splints:

Prescribed by a dentist, these can alleviate symptoms caused by teeth grinding.

5. Consider stress management:

Techniques like relaxation exercises or meditation can be helpful to reduce the tension in your jaw muscles 

6. Ask about medical interventions:

Oral appliances, injections, or surgeries might be recommended however this is often only needed in the more severe cases.


At the Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic, our Registered Massage Therapists are experienced in treating TMJ pain and dysfunction and work closely with your physiotherapist, chiropractor, dentist and other health professionals to coordinate your care, so you get fast, long lasting, relief.

For more information or to speak with a therapist about your needs, please email us at or call us at 416-925-4687.

To learn more about our Registered Massage Therapists, click here.  You can also book your TMJ Massage appointment online by clicking here.











This service pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about therapy, health and related sub­jects. It is not meant to replace advice and/or treatment from your health care professional.