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Peak Physical Therapy
Helping you every step of the way


We hope that you had a fantastic summer and are excited for fall!  In this newsletter we are discussing the causes and treatment of jaw pain.  We hope you find this month's newsletter helpful and please write to for any topics you would like to see covered!

Featured Article: 

Dealing with Jaw Pain

If you have experienced pain while biting or chewing, or felt tenderness in and around your ears, then you know what it feels like to have jaw pain.

What Is TMJ?

Many people suffer from temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ pain), which refers to pain in the jaw joint. This TMJ is made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, and an injury to any of these structures can cause pain in the jaw.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of TMJ include: sore jaw muscles, ear pain, headaches, pain in the cheeks or temples, jaw clicking or popping, difficulty opening one’s mouth, and/or locking of the jaw.

What Causes My Jaw Pain?

TMJ pain can be caused by a number of issues. Some issues are caused by the teeth (i.e. toothaches, infections, teeth grinding, or direct trauma) or by other issues (poor posture, neck issues, arthritis, whiplash, and muscle imbalances).  Your physiotherapist at Peak Physical Therapy can assess your TMJ to see what may be causing the issue, and help you feel better faster!

What Can I Do?

To help you regain comfort from TMJ related pain, here are a few tips from your physiotherapist at Peak Physical Therapy:

-Book in to see your physiotherapist.  After an assessment, your physiotherapist can determine if your issue is related to your teeth or to muscle imbalances and joint issues.  If your problem is due to dental issues, your physiotherapist will guide you with the next steps to take.

-Speak to your physician or pharmacist about taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen.  Topical ointments can also help reduce pain.  By reducing your inflammation, your pain will decrease, however; this form of treatment provides temporary relief and should not be used long term.

-If you have tight, sore muscles, place a hot, damp cloth on your jaw and keep it there until the cloth is no longer hot. Applying heat to the jaw helps relax the muscles by increasing blood flow to the affected area.

-If your jaw has started to swell or is significantly swollen, apply cold packs for 8-10 minutes to help decrease jaw pain and reduce swelling. Avoid clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth.

-Avoid hard or chewy foods such as steak or nuts and do not chew gum.  Also avoid taking large bites as you would with an apple or a hamburger.  Try soft foods or liquids such as yogurt, soups, and smoothies.    

-Sit up straight!  When eating, try to sit as tall as possible.  This will help align joints and reduce strain on the TMJ.

For more tips on how to safely and effectively reduce your jaw pain, talk to the trained, physiotherapists at Peak Physical Therapy. One of our physiotherapists would be happy to assess your current jaw pain and create a program tailored specifically to your needs. Call Peak Physical Therapy to make an appointment or to ask any questions you may have.


In the past month we have added new FAQ and Research articles to our patient education resource.  We have also added the following patient guides:

  1. Hip Surgery (Hemiarthroplasty)
  2. Avascular Necrosis of the Hip.
  3. Scoliosis
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