Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a condition where the joint that acts like a hinge for your bottom jaw and your skull becomes inflamed. When the joint in the jaw becomes inflamed, it can create intense discomfort and pain. It's fairly common, with about 10 million people in the United States dealing with it. Most cases develop and then go away on their own, but there are still many who report chronic TMJ disorder symptoms.
What are the common symptoms of TMJ pain?
- Jaw pain.
- Clicking, popping and locking of the jaw.
- Problems with chewing.
- Ear pain.
So, can shoulder pain be caused by TMJ dysfunction?
- Yes ” The short answer is yes. Temporomandibular joint disorder can cause pain in the shoulders and neck. Pain in the jaw and pain in the shoulder can definitely be related. For those with TMJ disorder, abnormal jaw function can cause tense and imbalanced muscles. This leads to overuse and strain on the muscles surrounding the jaw, which can eventually affect the muscles in the neck, the shoulders and, in very extreme cases, the arms.
What are treatment options for TMJ dysfunction that has caused shoulder pain?
- Pain-relieving medication ” Using medication can be helpful to a certain extent. It can provide fast relief from shoulder and jaw pain; however, the relief is likely to be short lived. The pain will probably end up coming back.
- Hot compress ” A hot compress is another short-term option that can provide relatively quick relief for those in pain or experiencing muscle tension. It can also help increase blood circulation to the affected area.
- Physical therapy ” Another treatment option for TMJ pain that's led to shoulder pain by extension is physical therapy. Physical therapy is a highly effective method of receiving intentional, specialized care from a health care professional. Physical therapists can work with you to come up with a unique plan to address your condition at the root. They can also help alleviate symptoms to help keep your condition from having a profound effect on your daily life.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for shoulder pain caused by TMJ
At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we're proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that's close to you and that can help you address shoulder pain caused by TMJ.
Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.
Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.