What happens at a massage therapy session for temporomandibular joint disorder?

Stretching. The muscles that surround the TMJ joint are used for chewing so they're very strong and often get too tight. The therapist will massage these facial muscles and gently stretch them to loosen them up, relieving pressure on the joint. They may also use heat and ultrasound to help.
Massage. The muscles around the joint are massaged. Hopefully working out muscles spasm. Likely muscles are pretreated with moist heat.
TMJ muscle pain. Sometimes pain in the region of your temporomandibular joint is not in the joint, but a muscle spasm in the pterygoid or masseter muscles or your cheek. The pt will attempt to release the muscle tightness. Have you had an x-ray to look at the joint itself?

Related Questions

What is TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)? What happens inside the joint?

Good question! Tmj is not one but many conditions known together as temporomandibular disorders. They range from problems with the muscles and the bite to internal derangements of the joint itself. Inside the joint there is a disc which can become displaced, causing painful clicking or popping, locking of the joint, and eventually, a very common kind of arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis.
Complex. The jaw joint is a very different one from all others. It has a disk which separates the upper jaw bone from the lower jaw bone in all movements of the jaw. It must work in tandem with all the teeth, the other side of the jaw and a myriad of muscles and tendons. Any screwup of any of these parts can cause a tmd.
TMD. TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders) refer to pathological problems within and surrounding the joint. Some derangement of structures. Many types. See an oral surgeon for expert advice.

What is the best way to cure temporomandibular joint disorder TMJ or tmd?

Treatment. Tmj/tmd can be caused by stress and clenching or grinding of teeth. Sometimes tmd can occur without clinching or grinding. For "treatment" otc nsaids are good for a short amount of time as well as prescription steroids. If symptoms persist, you should be seen by on oral surgeon who specialized in tmd. A fitted mouth guard may be what you need.
Professional Help. Common sense would suggest that you don't chew hard foods, massage the area, try hot/cold compresses, and take an anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen. To figure out why you've got a problem, to make it better long-term, and to prevent bigger problems, you need to see a dentist. You may also need a team, including a physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, etc. You need help.
Varies with person. The way to cure tmd depends on the cause. Temporary help which may "cure" is to use an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen and icing along with a soft diet. The use of a healing laser can speed up the process. Stress may need stress management. An nti may be used. A bad bite needs correction which could include among other things bite adjustment, crowns, bridges, implants and braces.
Get a diagnosis. Many times tmd is self limiting and goes away on its own. If it does persist, see a dentist who can diagnose what is wrong. Tmd is not a diagnosis but a group of problems related to the jaw joint. Once a person has a diagnosis appropriate treatment can be discussed. Rarely does treatment involve extensive dental care or surgery.
No cure. Tmd/tmj syndrome can never really be cured, just maintained. Depending upon the cause, duration and severity, the symptoms may dictate what needs to be done treatment wise. Symptoms often recycle and come back, but knowledge of what to do and not to do is key.
A few things. Depends on symptoms, and cause of symptoms. 3 signs of TMJ dysfunction: joint noises, joint pain & limited oral opening. Self treat with soft diet, jaw exercises, massage, heat/cold, OTC pain meds. A splint or physical therapy would be next. Occasionally muscle relaxants, biofeedback. Xrays are done for diagnosis. Surgery usually reserved for serious symptoms not responsive to other treatments.

What are the TMJ syndrome (temporomandibular joint disorder)?

Normal is comparison. A normal jaw movement is painless, noiseless, has full range of motion (at least 3 fingers between the teeth) that is a straight motion without deviation or deflection. If you have pain, noise or limited motion there are reasons. You need to find out what is causing the problem (usually an imbalance between joint/muscles and the bite). Find the optimal position and then consider treatments.
Jaw joint. Tmj stands for temporomandibular joint. It is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the base of the skull at two areas or joints. It sometimes refers to conditions that involve this anatomical area that today are referred to as tmd, temporomandibular disorders, a group of various conditions involving the breakdown of any, some or all of the differing components of the tmj.
Multiple symptoms. Some of the more common tmd symptoms are clicking or popping in the jaw joint, limited opening, pain on opening in the joint area, pain in the muscles associated with chewing, pain while chewing, locking open or closed and noticeable deviation of the jaw to one side when opening. If you have any of these my advice would be to consult with a dentist that treats jaw joint issues.
Many symptoms. Symptoms of tmj/tmd can vary from person to person, severity, location and duration. It can affect the ears: ringing, aching, roaring, stuffiness, hearing loss; head, facial and neck: headaches, neck and facial pain; locking of the jaw: closed lock- limited opening, open lock- can't close; bite problems: can't touch the teeth, grinding, clenching; toothaches; lose teeth, fatigue, etc.
A group of disorders. TMD, TMJ, TMJ syndrome are synonymous, referring to a group of disorders relating to the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) and associated disorders. Can be an abnormality of the bones, cartilage, ligaments, or muscles. Complex. TMD mostly manages by dental TMJ specialists.

Is it possible that temporomandibular joint disorder is caused by stress and anxiety?

See below. Stress and anxiety are risk factors associated with TMJ and there is additional data supporting structural TMJ problems caused by anxiety.
Partly. Stress response is often clench/grind teeth. This can lead to or exacerbate a TMJ problem. Stress can also make any pain problem you have more painful.

How can I tell if I have temporomandibular joint disorder?

TMJ symptoms. Pain on opening and closing your jaw, joint noises such as "clicking", limitations on the amount you can open your mouth or move your jaw from side to side, jaw pain especially in front of your ear, your jaw locking open or closed, pain in your jaw on awakening are many of the most common symptoms. See your dentist for a one on one personal exam and evaluation.
TMJ. Sometimes if one has pain associated with 'clicking' of the joints or just 'clicking', best to have your bite evaluated by an orthodontist.
TMJ disorder. Temporo-mandibular disorder is the second most frequent cause of orofacial pain after dental pain. Earache, neck clicking and popping, difficulty to swallow, headache and jaw pain are common symptoms. Proper diagnosis is the key to the successful treatment. See an orofacial pain practitioner for a consultation and management of the TMJ.
Classic symptoms. Although symptoms can be extremely variable, the "classic triad" of symptoms is jaw joint pain, limited oral opening and joint noises (clicking, popping, grinding) See TMJ expert. Any dentist can be a TMJ expert with the proper training and experience. Most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists. Ask your MD, your dentist and your dental society for referrals.

How painful is the typical temporomandibular joint disorder?

TMJ. Degree and perception of pain varies from person to person.
Depends. Sometimes it can be very painful sometimes not painful at all. There may be clicking or popping with or without pain. At times the jaw can lock open.
Can be painful. Tmj, temporomandibular joint disorder can cause pain in the joint at rest or while chewing. Typical management includes soft diet, use of antiinflammatories like Motrin and warm compress. If pain persists, see your provider or an oral maxillofacial surgeon for work-up and additional management.

Please tell me if I have temporomandibular joint disorder? How can I tell?

Triad of symptoms. Most common TMJ symptoms include jaw joint pain, limited oral opening and jaw joint noises (clicking, popping, grinding). Other symptoms include pain in muscles around jaw joint, headache, ear pain, tinnitus.
TMJ disorder. Temporo-mandibular disorder is the second most frequent cause of orofacial pain after dental pain. Common symptoms of TMJ disorders are: pain, limited jaw opening, Clicking, popping noises, etc. Proper diagnosis is the key for the successful treatment. See an orofacial pain practitioner for a consultation and management.

What is temporomandibular joint disorder (tmj/tmd)?

Jaw joint. Tmj stands for temporomandibular joint. It is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the base of the skull at two areas or joints. It sometimes refers to conditions that involve this anatomical area that today are referred to as tmd, temporomandibular disorders, a group of various conditions involving the breakdown of any, some or all of the differing components of the tmj.
Definition. Anything that is outside the normal function of the jaw joint and its related structures. This may or may not involve discomfort and includes but is not limited to clicks, muscle tightness, restriction of opening, muscle soreness, etc, .
My own theory. My exams of TMJ found asymmetric function of masseter muscles, with spasm & relative hypertrophy of muscle on side of disorder, i.e., "crossed muscle syndrome"(after Janda). My theory is that chronic head tilting induced this asymmetry via compensatory proprioceptive-driven excessive dental occlusion on side of head uppermost. Theoretically gum chewing on weak masseter side might be therapeutic.
A group of disorders. TMD, TMJ, TMJ syndrome are synonymous, referring to a group of disorders relating to the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) and associated disorders. Can be an abnormality of the bones, cartilage, ligaments, or muscles. Complex. TMD mostly managed by dental TMJ specialists. TMJ experts are most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists.

What are the symptoms of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)?

TMD. Jaw joint noises, limited mandibular range of motion, jaw muscle soreness and hypertrophy, bite changes, facial symetry changes, difficulty eating and/or speaking, frequent temporalis headaches.
Possibly. Some of the more common symptoms are clicking or popping in the jaw joint, limited opening, pain on opening in the joint area, pain in the muscles associated with chewing, pain while chewing, locking open or closed and noticeable deviation of the jaw to one side when opening. If you have any of these my advice would be to consult with a dentist that treats jaw joint issues.
Many symptoms. Jaw pain, especially at area of the joint; popping/clicking of jaw; ear pain, or sounds of cracking in the ears: ringing/popping sounds in the ears (tinnitus) or a sense of fullness in the ears: headaches; blurred vision: tight, stiff, or sore jaw or neck muscles: facial pain, cheek pain, or chin numbness or tingling: shoulder pain; locking or dislocation of the jaw (usually after widely yawning).