The Ultimate Guide to Relieving TMJ Pain: Evidence-Based Strategies Backed by Science

If you're here, chances are you're seeking relief from that nagging TMJ pain. Well, you're in luck because today we're diving headfirst into evidence-based strategies that will have you bidding farewell to TMJ discomfort. From the latest scientific research to tried-and-true techniques, we've got you covered.

  1. Understanding TMJ Pain:

Before we explore the remedies, let's first understand what TMJ pain entails. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull. When this joint is disrupted, it can lead to pain, jaw clicking, difficulty in chewing, and even headaches.

  1. The Power of Physical Therapy:

At SRQ Sports Rehab, we firmly believe in the healing potential of physical therapy for TMJ pain. Research suggests that specific exercises aimed at improving jaw mobility and strengthening surrounding muscles can significantly reduce pain and enhance jaw function. To maximize your results, consult a licensed physical therapist specializing in orofacial pain and temporomandibular disorders.

  1. Stretching for Jaw Freedom:

Just like any other muscle group, your jaw muscles can benefit from regular stretching. Gentle stretching exercises can help alleviate TMJ pain and improve jaw mobility. One effective stretch is the "jaw opening stretch": gently open your mouth as wide as comfortable, hold for a few seconds, and then close it slowly. Repeat this stretch a few times a day to promote relaxation and relieve tension.

  1. The Magic of Dry Needling:

Dry needling, a technique that involves inserting thin needles into trigger points, has shown promise in relieving TMJ pain. Studies have found that dry needling can effectively reduce pain and improve jaw function by releasing tension and promoting blood flow. Seek out a skilled physical therapist who is trained in dry needling techniques to explore this option.

  1. Customized Splints and Mouthguards:

When it comes to protecting your teeth and reducing TMJ pain, customized splints and mouthguards can be your best allies. These dental devices work by cushioning your jaw, preventing teeth grinding (bruxism), and minimizing the impact of jaw clenching. Research has shown that wearing a customized splint or mouthguard can effectively reduce TMJ pain and improve overall jaw function.


The best evidence-based strategies to tackle TMJ pain are now at your fingertips. Remember, seeking professional help from a physical therapist who specializes in TMJ disorders is crucial. Incorporate stretching exercises to enhance jaw mobility and consider exploring the benefits of dry needling with a skilled practitioner. Additionally, customized splints and mouthguards can provide valuable protection and pain relief.

At SRQ Sports Rehab, we're committed to providing top-notch care and expertise to our Sarasota community. Reach out to our experienced physical therapists and let us help you regain control over your TMJ pain. Don't let discomfort hold you back any longer – it's time to reclaim a pain-free and happier jaw. Find help at


  • Almoznino G, et al. (2017). Physiotherapy management for temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review. DOI: 10.1016/j.cden.2016.12.007

  • Franco AL, et al. (2016). Dry needling followed by stretching compared to stretching alone in patients with temporomandibular dysfunction: a randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2016.02.006

  • Okeson, J. P. (2020). Management of temporomandibular disorders and occlusion (8th ed.). Mosby.

  • Peck, C. C., et al. (2003). Effectiveness of splint therapy and relaxation techniques in the management of temporomandibular disorders. DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3913(02)00085-x

  • Young, A. L., et al. (2020). Effects of nutrition on temporomandibular joint health: a systematic review. DOI: 10.1016/j.joms.2019.09.036