If you’ve ever experienced jaw pain, you know how uncomfortable and disruptive it can be. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your jawbone to your skull, is responsible for the smooth movement of your jaw when you talk, eat, or yawn. However, when this joint becomes dysfunctional, it can result in pain, also known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Fortunately, osteopathic treatment by a qualified osteopath can provide effective relief for TMJ jaw pain.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, including the bones, muscles, ligaments, and other connective tissues. Osteopaths are healthcare professionals who use their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of conditions, including TMJ pain. Osteopathic treatment aims to improve the overall health and well-being of the patient by addressing the underlying causes of their condition, rather than just treating the symptoms.
How Can Osteopathy Help with TMJ Pain?
Osteopathic treatment can be highly beneficial for individuals suffering from acute or chronic TMJ pain. Osteopaths use a holistic approach, taking into account the patient’s entire body, including their jaw, neck, spine, and posture, to identify and treat the root causes of your pain. Here are some ways in which osteopathy can help:
- Soft Tissue Manipulation: Osteopaths use various hands-on techniques to release tension and tightness in the muscles and soft tissues around the TMJ. This can help to improve the flexibility and mobility of the jaw, reducing pain and discomfort.
- Joint Mobilization: Osteopaths can perform gentle joint mobilization techniques to restore normal movement to the TMJ. This can help to alleviate jaw pain caused by joint dysfunction, such as clicking or popping noises, limited jaw movement, or a locked jaw.
- Postural Assessment and Correction: Poor posture can contribute to TMJ pain by placing stress on the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. Osteopaths can assess the patient’s posture and provide advice on how to improve it, as well as perform manual techniques to correct any postural imbalances that may be contributing to your pain.
- Stress Management: Stress and anxiety can exacerbate pain by causing muscle tension and clenching of the jaw. Osteopaths can provide relaxation techniques and stress management strategies to help patients manage stress, which can in turn reduce TMJ pain.
- Education and Self-Care: Educating patients about lifestyle modifications, ergonomic changes, and self-care techniques can help manage TMJ pain on a day-to-day basis. This may include exercises, stretches, and dietary recommendations to support overall jaw health.
TMJ pain can be debilitating and affect your quality of life. However, osteopathic treatment can provide effective relief by addressing the underlying causes of your pain and promoting overall jaw health. At Zen Wellness, our Osteopaths use a holistic approach, combining manual techniques, postural assessment and correction, stress management, and patient education to help patients manage TMJ pain and improve their well-being. If you’re suffering from TMJ pain, consider reaching out to us for more information on how we can help.
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Meet our Osteopathic Practitioners
Patrick Suwala graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in 2015 and then committed to an additional four years of osteopathic education at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton and graduated with a Master in Practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences designation (M. OMSc.) from the school at the end of 2020.
Throughout his undergrad at the University of Waterloo, Patrick found his passion in learning the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and for four years he was a volunteer teaching assistant in the human cadaver labs on campus, teaching first year students and many external visitors, including graduate-level manual therapy students about the musculoskeletal structures of the human body.
Patrick quickly grew an appreciation for the art and science of the field of manual therapy through extracurriculars like swimming and playing waterpolo competitively, and decided that this was the right avenue for him to pursue.
Patrick also helps supervise student clinic and teach at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton.
Patrick belongs to the Ontario Osteopathic Association (OOA/OSTCAN) and is therefore recognized across all insurance providers in Ontario because of the association’s high standards.
Jenna has a love for sports, fitness, and being outdoors. She has been involved in sports since a young age including being a Competitive Dancer and Rep Softball player. After ongoing injuries and pain with no relief she was then introduced to Osteopathy which changed everything. Her experiences led her into expanding her knowledge of the human body to become an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner.
Serving the town of Milton since 2022, Jenna looks forward to bringing her skills to our team at Zen. Providing a holistic approach using the principles of Osteopathy, manipulation is applied gently to facilitate the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate. Through an individualized treatment and the understanding that the body is a dynamic unit of function, Jenna works with the interrelated systems of the body to bring health to the structures for optimal function. Investigating on the ‘why’ there is dysfunction and discover the root cause of the problem.
Combining her love and passion of the human body, being active, and helping others makes being an osteopathic manual practitioner both enjoyable and rewarding. Through extensive knowledge, empathy and understanding, her goal is to get you back to your daily activities and doing what you love!