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  7. How can physical therapy help with TMD?


Physical therapy can be very effective at lessening or resolving symptoms associated with TMD. Your physical therapist will create a personalized treatment plan for you based on the type of TMD you have and your signs and symptoms. 

The following treatments may be utilized:

  • Joint mobilizations and passive and active range of motion (ROM) of the jaw and/or cervical region to improve joint mobility caused by muscle or joint structures, reduce pain and reduce muscle guarding
  • Dry needling to reduce muscle guarding
  • Mobility exercises to improve resting position of jaw, neck, head and shoulder during rest and activity to reduce stress on the TMJ
  • Strengthening exercises to be able to eat harder/chewier foods without pain

Your PT will help create a personalized plan of care based on the type of TMD you have in addition to your specific symptoms. Additionally, your PT may involve another healthcare practitioner in your care, like a dentist or orofacial pain specialist, to further assist with improving jaw function, reducing pain and relaxing the TMJ.


  1. GUIDE: Physical therapy guide to temporomandibular joint disorder. Choose PT. (2021, August 26). Retrieved March 12, 2022, from https://www.choosept.com/guide/physical-therapy-guide-temporomandibular-joint-disorder
  2. Harrison, A. L., Thorp, J. N., & Ritzline, P. D. (2014). A proposed diagnostic classification of patients with temporomandibular disorders: Implications for physical therapists. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 44(3), 182–197. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2014.4847

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