TMJ Pain (Jaw Pain)

TMJ Pain - Jaw Pain

Article by John Miller

TMD Physio

TMJ Pain

(Jaw Pain)

TMJ pain causes are numerous. TMJ dysfunction (jaw joint), sinus infections and dental disease are the most common causes of jaw pain.

In particular, Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) is the abnormal motion of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Your TMJ is the most common cause of persistent jaw pain, clicking and popping, or a lack of jaw motion. TMD can also cause jaw headaches.

TMJ disorder most commonly results in orofacial or jaw pain, jaw headache or a clicking jaw. If your jaw clicks, locks open or closed, grates (crepitus) or is painful, you almost certainly have a TMJ disorder.

Jaw pain has traumatic causes such as a broken jaw, dislocation or dental surgery. Chronic movement patterns can also cause teeth clenching grinding or poor jaw habits, e.g. leaning on your jaw.

Several health professionals may assist with your TMJ dysfunction or jaw pain. Professionals include your dentist, orthodontist, dental prosthetist, oral maxillofacial (OMF) surgeon, or a TMJ physiotherapist.

More info:

TMJ Dysfunction

TMJ Headache

What Is Each Health Professional Strengths?

As a general rule, your TMJ health professionals will focus on the following:


  • Review your bite and prescribe a bite plate to assist jaw occlusion (closing) over weeks or months.
  • Attend to your general dental care


  • Review your bite and may prescribe teeth alignment techniques, e.g. braces assist jaw occlusion (closing). Period: months to years.

Dental Prosthetist

  • Unnatural teeth only
  • Review your bite and prescribe or modify your denture to assist jaw occlusion (closing) for weeks or months.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon

  • Review your TMJ and may offer surgical correction to assist jaw function for weeks or months.
  • Patients tend to be acute trauma patients, e.g. broken jaw or chronic TMJ sufferers.

TMJ Physiotherapist

  • TMJ physiotherapists have additional training in TMJ motion and its correction.
  • They will assess the origin of your jaw headache, clicking, locking or jaw dysfunction.
  • Review your TMJ motion:
    • Increase jaw mobility where stiffness exists.
    • Relax hypertonic muscles.
    • Dynamically control excessive motion where hypermobility exists.
    • Normalise TMJ motion via specific exercises where abnormal movement patterns exist.
    • Analyse and correct the influence of your neck posture and motion on your TMJ function.
  • Period: weeks to months. Researchers have found that 75% of conservatively managed TMJ treatment will succeed within three months. Another study found that 33% will spontaneously recover over five years.

TMJ Physiotherapy

tmj physiotherapist brisbane

TMJ physiotherapists have additional training and professional skills in assessing and managing TMJ dysfunction and jaw pain. PhysioWorks has several physiotherapists with a particular interest in TMJ dysfunction.

More info:

TMJ Dysfunction

TMJ Headache

Why Should You Enjoy the PhysioWorks Difference?

PhysioWorks Brisbane

Friendly & Caring Service

You'll notice about the PhysioWorks team because they are very friendly and caring health professionals. We know that sometimes pain or injury can make you a little less tolerant, so we've trained our healthcare team always to greet and treat you like they would a family member or best friend.

Thorough & Unrushed

Everyone should be entitled to individualised professional care. That's why we book longer initial appointments to ensure that your unhurried first visit will include a thorough and individualised assessment of your injury or problem. This extra time allows us to discuss your short, medium and long-term goals and treatment options before commencing your rehabilitation.

You'll find that your PhysioWorks healthcare practitioner is not only a great listener but also an excellent treatment planner to focus on your efficient and effective treatment outcome. After all, that's why you have chosen to see us in the first place.

What is the Aim of Your Initial Consultation?

Because we do spend more time than most physiotherapists thoroughly assessing, by the completion of your initial consultation, we should be able to determine and inform you:

  • What exactly is your problem
  • Why you are experiencing pain or dysfunction etc
  • What you can be doing to correct it
  • How long it will most likely take to recover
  • How to prevent a future recurrence

Your Tailored Treatment Plan

Your physiotherapist will design a specific treatment program specifically for you based on your examination. Your treatment may include hands-on therapy, such as joint manipulation, mobilisation or massage. It will probably also have lots of helpful advice and home exercises. We'll also use other technology or treatment tools depending upon your needs.

Your treatment will vary depending on your age, sex, sport, work requirements, or lifestyle, so generic therapies tend to be more effective than targeted treatment plans.

As highly-trained exercise prescribers, your physiotherapist will usually instruct you on specific exercises and stretches to undertake at home to assist in your rapid recovery. We'll also offer you helpful advice to help ease your pain, such as the appropriate resting positions or whether to use heat or ice and precisely for how long.

The result is prompt pain reduction, quicker natural healing and your triumphant return to total activity, whether work or sport, as soon as possible.

How Long is Your Physiotherapy Appointment?

Allow at least one hour for your initial physiotherapy session. Subsequent treatments are usually 30 to 60 minutes in duration. Your physiotherapist will inform you if additional or less time is required. Complex or multiple regions may require a more extended consultation. Our receptionist will happily book an appropriate appointment for your clinical needs.

Do You Need a Referral to Consult a Physiotherapist?

A doctor's referral is not required to see a physiotherapist in private practice unless you claim a work injury (e.g. Workcover) or other insurance claims. Department of Veterans Affairs patients will require a doctor referral. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or plan for your treatment to be funded by an insurance company, it is good practice to consult your GP for a referral.

What About Private Health Insurance?

A proportion of treatment costs is rebatable under all higher table private health insurance schemes. The private health insurance rebates do vary considerably depending upon your specific coverage.

What is HICAPS?

PhysioWorks links to the HICAPS electronic health fund system, so you can instantly claim your rebate at the time of treatment. You'll need to present your health insurance card to our receptionist.

How Is PhysioWorks Different?

Your Experienced & Caring Practitioners

You'll be impressed with the experienced physiotherapists, massage therapists, allied health team and reception staff representing PhysioWorks.

If you've been searching for health practitioners with a serious interest in your rehabilitation or injury prevention program, our staff have either participated or are still participating in competitive sports at a representative level.

To ensure that we remain highly qualified, PhysioWorks is committed to continuing education to provide optimal care. We currently offer physiotherapy and massage services for numerous sports clubs, state and national representative teams and athletes. Our experience helps us understand what you need to do to safely and quickly return to your sporting field, home duties, or employment.

How You'll Benefit from the PhysioWorks Difference?

At PhysioWorks physiotherapy and massage clinics, we strive to offer our clients quick, effective and long-lasting results by providing high-quality treatment. With many years of clinical experience, our friendly service and quality treatment is a benchmark not only in Brisbane but Australia-wide.

What are Some of the BIG Differences?

We aim to get you better quicker in a friendly and caring environment conducive to successful healing. Our therapists pride themselves on keeping up to date with the latest research and treatment skills to ensure that they provide you with the most advantageous treatment methods. They are continually updating their knowledge via seminars, conferences, workshops, scientific journals etc. Not only will you receive a detailed consultation, but we offer long-term solutions, not just quick fixes that, in reality, only last for a short time. We attempt to treat the cause, not just the symptoms.

PhysioWorks clinics are modern thinking. Not only in their appearance but in the equipment we use and in our therapists' knowledge. Our staff care about you!  We are always willing to go that 'extra mile' to guarantee that we cater to our client's unique needs. All in all, we feel that your chances of the correct diagnosis, the most effective treatment and the best outcomes are all the better at PhysioWorks.

More Info

PhysioWorks Physiotherapists

PhysioWorks Massage Therapists

Who is a Physiotherapist?



Your physiotherapist is a university-trained medical professional who uses a natural and physical approach to restore, maintain or optimise your physical and psychological well-being. This healthcare will enable you to perform and enjoy your chosen sport, work or everyday activities. In simple terms, your physiotherapist is a health mechanic for the human body.

During a physiotherapist's university study, human body anatomy, physiology and movement biomechanics, particularly the muscle and joint system, focus their training. This deep education understanding helps your physiotherapist diagnose health conditions and utilise hands-on techniques, educational advice, and exercise prescription to resolve your problem.

Physiotherapy is a science-based methodology evolving as new research discovers better ways to treat your body. Your physiotherapist will use their extensive knowledge of the human body and highly-trained skills to help restore your aching, stiff and dysfunctional muscles and joints to health.

Physiotherapists at PhysioWorks are highly skilled in numerous niche areas of physiotherapy. These include sports and exercise physiotherapy, musculoskeletal physiotherapy, ergonomics, workplace wellness, vestibular physiotherapy, TMJ physiotherapy and headache disorders. Plus, women's health, to name a few.