The jaw is involved in many different everyday activities such as eating (biting and chewing), swallowing, talking, singing, shouting, smiling, laughing, yawning, kissing and even snoring!
Jaw problems can affect people of any age, but are more common in young adults. Women are more often affected than men. Symptoms can include clicking, restricted opening, muscle spasm and pain, which is commonly felt in the face but can also occur in the neck and head. They can be triggered by trauma, overstretching the jaw (possibly from surgery or dental procedures or even by yawning too widely), or more commonly from habits such as clenching or grinding the teeth or nail-biting.
Your physiotherapy assessment will involve taking a detailed history of your symptoms and a careful examination of the jaw movements and your posture. You will be given advice about how to help your symptoms by moving the jaw correctly, improving your posture and avoiding habits that can bring on jaw pain and restriction of movement. You may be given exercises to do regularly. In most cases physiotherapy is very successful in treating symptoms of pain, clicking and movement restriction.