Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Physical Therapy for Temporomandibular Disorders
A physical therapist can develop a program for you that includes
learning and practicing techniques for regaining normal jaw movement.
The focus of physical therapy for
temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) is relaxation,
stretching, and releasing tight muscles and scar tissue. Physical therapy is an
especially important part of recovery from TM joint surgery, as it helps
minimize scar tissue formation and muscle tightness.
Physical therapy techniques may include:
After a physical therapy session, you should rest the jaw, try to
control habits that cause jaw pain, and avoid chewing foods that stress the
Physical therapy is important to the success of both surgical and
nonsurgical treatments for TMDs.footnote 1
Any therapy that involves physical movement of the jaw may make
joint problems worse. And this therapy must be done by an experienced professional.
Do not begin physical therapy and jaw exercises to improve jaw
range of motion until your doctor has determined what type of TM
joint problem you have and what jaw structures are affected.
Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.
Scrivani SJ, et al. (2008). Temporomandibular disorders. New England Journal of Medicine, 359(25): 2693–2705.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerArden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital