Physical Therapy can help those suffering from pain associated with the facial region, head, and/or neck, including those struggling with Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders.

The temporomandibular joint is a complex joint located in front of each ear. It is responsible for allowing mouth opening and clothing. When the joint is not working correctly, you may experience jaw pain, clicking, popping, or locking of the joint. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a condition that affects the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. This joint is responsible for various crucial functions, including speaking, eating, and facial expressions. When the temporomandibular joint is compromised, it can lead to a range of symptoms and discomfort, known as TMJ disorder. TMJ pain or Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) is not strictly limited to the jaw, it can also be influenced by activities, positioning, or alignment of the head and neck.

Common Causes

  • Excessive grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Joint stiffness
  • TMJ Disorders
  • Poor Posture or Ergonomics
  • Other neck conditions including pain and headache
  • Stress and muscle tension


  • Face or Jaw Pain
  • Ear Pain
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Jaw Clicking and/or Popping
  • Neck Pain
  • Sinus Pain
  • Limited Jaw Opening

Physical Therapy Treatment for TMJ

Denali Physical Therapy specializes in appropriately addressing TMJ symptoms through physical therapy as well as prioritizing individual care with expertise and a patient-centered approach. Our treatment plans are based on results from a comprehensive evaluation and the treatment options will be utilized to ensure the best outcome for decreased pain and improved function.

The goal of Physical Therapy treatment for TMJ is to provide pain relief using a variety of techniques to improve your range of motion through exercise and manual therapy and to improve posture and muscle imbalance. Physical therapy treatment includes an in-depth evaluation of the structures of the cervical spine, jaw joints, and head. Treatment could include manual therapy techniques for the spine, jaw, and soft tissues, exercises for the jaw and neck, and modalities. Evaluations focus on the relationship of the muscles, joints, and nerves of the jaw, head, neck, and face and how they relate to each other. Manual therapy may be used to improve the range of motion and mobility of the jaw and neck. Exercise is designed to restore the proper balance of the spine and head to take unnecessary stress off sensitive tissues and to support the body so it can perform the activities of daily living efficiently and comfortably. Modalities will decrease short-term discomfort and joint irritation. We will look at how you interact with your environment to see if there are activities you perform that put increased stress on your body which can cause increased pain. Most importantly, in addition to these techniques, the patient is provided with a home exercise program to aid in symptom reduction. Each treatment plan is based on a patient’s individual needs and the therapist, patient, and referring practitioner work as a team to reach the patient’s goals.