Anatomy & Dysfunction of the TMJ

The TMJ or temporomandibular (jaw) joint is an incredibly hard working and complex synovial joint, that allows you to talk, eat, yawn, form facial expressions and also supports breathing. It is the only joint in the body that works bilaterally, which means that both sides of the joint work together to create movement. The TMJ is a ginglymoarthrodial joint, which means it moves as both a hinge and sliding joint, allowing for a wider variety of movement. The teeth limit the range of movement of the joint, but the actual resting position of the TMJ is with a small gap of a few mm between the teeth.

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How to Stretch

Stretching is an activity that most of us should be doing more of, regardless of how active we are in our day to day lives. Stretching maintains the health of our joints and reduces the chances of injury. Muscles become tight without stretching, which puts them at risk of tearing.

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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome or ITBS is common injury among runners and cyclists, which affects the Iliotibial band (IT Band) that runs from the hip to the knee along the lateral side of the thigh. There are a few possible causes, but mostly this injury is related to overuse and repetition. This results in pain on the lateral side of the knee, and during extension and flexion of the knee, which can have quite a sudden onset. It can usually subside quite quickly with proper management, however some people have ongoing pain and problems with their IT Bands.

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The Scientific Benefits of Massage

There is significant evidence supporting the inclusion of massage therapy for many important patient health treatments, including those for chronic pain management (such as back pain, headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, and hospice care), behavioral health treatment (anxiety and stress, depression, PTSD, and substance use disorder recovery), rehabilitation/physical training (athletic training/injury treatment, ergonomics and job-related injuries, cardiac rehab, joint replacement surgery, and scar management), and acute medical conditions (cancer management, post-operative pain, lymphatic drainage, and maternity and newborn care).

Bauer, et al., (2018)
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Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis is a fairly small muscle found deep within the hip joint, under the gluteus maximus muscle. The piriformis attaches the anterior surface of the sacrum (second to last section of the spine), and the head of the femur (large thigh bone); and it is surrounded by a handful of other small muscles. Together these muscles along with the piriformis are responsible for laterally rotating the hip, stabilising the hip joint and abducting the hip when it is in a flexed position. Running through the sacrum and under the piriformis is the sciatic nerve – the longest nerve in the body that spans from the lower spine to the foot – and provides both motor and sensory neurones to the leg. When piriformis becomes short and tight, it impacts on the sciatic nerve, which is the starting point for Piriformis Syndrome.

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Crossed Muscle Syndrome

Upper Crossed Syndrome and Lower Crossed Syndrome are two surprisingly common postural issues, that are caused by imbalances in muscle function. These issues arise when opposing (antagonistic) muscles are no longer working in harmony, and instead one group of muscles become “short” or “over facilitated” and the other group become “weak” or “inhibited”. Both groups of muscles are not functioning optimally, and soft tissue techniques can help to bring balance back to the muscle function.

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