Myofascial Release and TMJ Relief

Myofascial Release helps relieve the pain and discomfort of one of the most common jaw joint disorders, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This condition causes pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. An estimation of 10 million Americans are affected and appears to be more common in women than men.

Both Myofascial Release and CranioSacral Therapy help alleviate pain and increase range of motion within the jaw joint by releasing fascial (connective tissue) restrictions. Many of the techniques are performed by palpation in and around the muscles that control jaw movement, but depending upon the severity of TMJ intra-oral techniques may be used as well. Releasing fascial restrictions helps to restore movement by elongating the connective tissue that surrounds and penetrates the muscle.

Living Fascia at 25x Magnification. Photo Credit: “Strolling Under The Skin” By Dr J.C. Guimberteau

Fascia is tough connective tissue that spreads throughout the body in a three-dimensional web. The fascia surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve, and blood vessel and provides support, stability, and cushioning. Tightening of the fascia system can lead to poor muscular bio-mechanics, altered structural alignment, and decreased strength. Releasing the fascia within the jaw joint helps to restore and realign the structure of the muscles, which in turn gives more mobility within the joint.

Most people find treatment very relaxing, if there is any uncomfortable movements the therapist will assist the patient in moving through the pain at the patients pace and comfort level. The relief that most experience after lasts longer and longer after every treatment. The number of treatments needed depends on the severity of TMJ and the patients ability to relax.

Kim Sonsky