I have had the privilege of being a physiotherapist since 2003. My interest in jaw rehabilitation started later in my career, when some of the dearest people in my life were complaining about pain in their face and clicking in their jaw.
Despite having already seen their GP and dentist for answers, they couldn’t find relief. I remember thinking to myself, ‘There must be a way to help.’
Access to effective treatment for jaw problems is still relatively scarce within the healthcare industry. Motivated by this, I devoted many months studying the mechanics of the jaw, from which I devised my own unique treatment methods.
Today, jaw physiotherapy makes up the largest proportion of my workload, and brings me the greatest satisfaction in my career.
The link between stress/anxiety and jaw pain
Stress may subconsciously contribute to us clenching more frequently than usual, which creates more pressure within the jaw (or temporomandibular joints). Over time, this can lead to poor control of the muscles responsible for opening and closing the mouth.
If this problem is left unchecked, our brain (which controls these muscles) can lose its ability to remember the correct position and movement of the jaw. Combined with the physical effects that stress has on our posture, as well as the muscles in the neck and shoulders, we have a concoction for catastrophe.
In all my years of treating jaw dysfunction, the greatest link my patients share is an elevated level of stress, and sometimes even anxiety.
"Pain is best treated through very gentle jaw exercises which can be done quickly and discretely at home or work."