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Jaw Pain

Jaw pain is commonly caused by dysfunction of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) which connects the jaw bone to the rest of the skull.

The TMJ is a very complex joint and problems with its function often lead to recurrent headaches or chronic pain.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders affect approximately 10-25% of the population but only 5% of these seek any treatment. If you are experiencing jaw pain it can be treated with physiotherapy to relieve your symptoms.

The physiotherapists at Liverpool Physio are experienced at assessing, diagnosing and treating jaw pain quickly and effectively in order to prevent the pain recurring.

Our physiotherapist assessing the jawAbove: Our physiotherapist assessing the jaw

What causes jaw pain?

The cause of jaw pain is commonly a dysfunction of the movement of the TMJ. The TMJ is one of the most complicated joints of the body and can be affected by both discogenic and mechanical issues. If the joint is not aligned properly the small disc inside the joint can pop out of place causing clicking and repeated movement can cause inflammation and pain. Mechanical problems can both be acute following a trauma and become chronic or degenerative.

Specific causes of TMJ pain include:

What should I do if I have jaw pain?

If you are experiencing jaw pain we would recommend that you have a physiotherapy assessment in order to determine the cause of your problem and how physiotherapy can help.

It is important to seek help as quickly as possible in order to prevent pain from becoming chronic.

What symptoms can physiotherapy help with?

The common symptoms associated with jaw pain that physiotherapy can treat are:
  • Pain
  • Clicking or locking of the jaw
  • Chronic headaches
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Difficulty opening the mouth

What would physiotherapy assessment for jaw pain involve?

Physiotherapy assessment for jaw pain comprises of two aspects; subjective and objective.
  • The subjective assessment involves discussion between yourself and your physiotherapist about your jaw pain. This information enables your physiotherapist to get a picture of you as a whole and also gives them an idea of what the exact problem might be.

  • The objective assessment is where you will be examined physically. Your physiotherapist will palpate your jaw and your general posture may also be examined.
Following a comprehensive assessment you will be informed as to whether physiotherapy treatment will be of benefit to your condition. If treatment would be beneficial, your physiotherapist will discuss treatment options with you and also advise you of the approximate length of rehabilitation.

Our physiotherapist assesing and treating a client for jaw pain.Above: Our physiotherapist assesing and treating a client for jaw pain.

What would physiotherapy treatment for jaw pain involve?

Physiotherapy treatment for jaw pain is dependent on the outcome of the prior assessment. As the causes of jaw pain can be complex, treatment could vary from simple advice through to extensive therapy meaning that the assessment is very important.

The general aims of treatment for jaw pain are to reduce pain, improve jaw range of movement and quality of movement and decrease associated issues such as headaches.

Treatment for jaw pain may involve:
  • A tailor made home exercise programme
  • Advice on ergonomic alterations for the workplace or home
  • Acupuncture for pain relief
  • Manipulation
  • Stress management

How can I arrange a physiotherapy assessment for jaw pain?

If you have been experiencing jaw pain or any of the other symptoms mentioned above you would benefit from assessment by one of our experienced physiotherapists. If you would like to arrange an appointment the please email us at or call on 0151 558 0077.


Jaw pain is commonly due to a dysfunction in movement at the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). Malalignment and repetitive movement of the jaw cause inflammation and pain, which can become chronic and degenerative if left untreated. Physiotherapy treatment is therefore important in reducing pain and improving quality of movement through a number of ways.

To arrange an appointment for one of our musculoskeletal physiotherapists to assess your jaw call 0151 558 0077 or e-mail

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Phone: 0151 558 0077
0151 558 0077
David Lloyd, 6 The Aerodrome Speke, Liverpool, Speke L24 8QD
David Lloyd, 6 The Aerodrome Speke, Liverpool, L24 8QD  [map]
88 Rodney Street, Liverpool, L1 9AR
88 Rodney Street, Liverpool, L1 9AR  [map]
150 Lord Street, Southport, PR9 0NP
150 Lord Street, Southport, PR9 0NP  [map]
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