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TMJ Dysfuction

What exactly is the

Temporomandibular Joint?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is known as the jaw joint, it is a hinge joint that connects the jaw bone to the skull. It needs to be flexible to allow your jaw to move up and down and side. The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body and has many components such as bones, teeth, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles.

Dysfunction and pain in the TMJ is surprisingly common and affects between 65% and 85% of people in their lifetime. Pain and clicking occur in the joint when it becomes dislodged and or compressed due to tight muscles due to grinding of teeth while sleeping, tightening of face muscles, and clenching of the jaw due to stress, arthritis, postural dysfunction, or from accidents such as whiplash.

TMJ can cause a ripple effect of problems in the neck and upper body.  A sufferer of TMJ may also experience pain in the neck and shoulders, ear aches, tinnitus, headaches, dizziness, and toothaches.

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Treating TMJ

Problems in the TMJ can cause severe discomfort and can be very problematic for dentists to treat. Recently, however, dentists have begun to refer more TMJ patients to Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs), as the benefits of Massage Therapists that are specially trained in treating TMJ have become more apparent.

Massage Therapy TMJ treatment addresses the root cause of the issue, helping patients regain full movement and strength in the joint and relieving pain and discomfort. This treatment helps restore proper joint mechanics, which in turn can prevent long-term effects such as arthritis and adhesion/fibrosis.

Massage therapy modalities that can be beneficial to TMJ patients are numerous, and include:

Neuromuscular Therapy

To target triggers points in the jaw muscles as well as addressing postural distortion and bio-mechanical dysfunction.

Intra-Oral Massage

Highly recommended to target the related muscular head on. If done correctly intra-oral massage is very comfortable for the client.

Cranial Sacral Therapy

To unblock nerve passages in the spine, skull and cranial sutures.

Swedish Massage

To reduce tension and anxiety.

Myofascial Release

Relaxes and stretches affected muscles and fascial tissues in the jaw, neck, and shoulders.

Post-Isometric Relaxation

Exercises to allow the jaw to relax in a not invasive way.

Owner & Founder, RMT

Ollivor (Olli) Dickson

Owner and Founder of Epoch Integrated Health, Ollivor (Olli) Dickson is a second-generation massage therapist who graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 2019. Growing up in the Okanagan, Olli grew up playing high-level sports before leaving home at age 16 to pursue a 5-year junior hockey career that landed him in the WHL, AJHL, and KIJHL. Following his hockey career, Olli turned to managing, coaching, and scouting in the junior hockey ranks. Olli attributes his success at the rink to massage therapy as a recovery method for training and injuries he sustained over the course of his career.

In 2018, Olli moved from the South Okanagan to the Lower Mainland to pursue his passion for massage therapy. During his time in school, Olli worked in many different areas of practice, some of which included Friends for Life Society in Vancouver, Canucks Place, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, and Last Door Recovery Centre. Olli is trained in Swedish Massage Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage Therapy, Sports Massage Therapy, Myofascial Release, Joint mobilization as well as Pregnancy Massage.

Olli believes in a holistic and hands-on approach when helping his patients improve their quality of life. To help his patients achieve their treatment goals Olli incorporates active homecare modalities into his treatment plans. Olli also incorporates active, passive, and resisted ranges of motion into his practice with the hopes of maintaining or enhancing his patient’s mobility.

With a patient-focused approach Olli’s treatments start with a thorough assessment of his patients, this allows for Ollivor to find the best treatment plan for that particular treatment with the patient’s consent. During treatment time Olli continuously assesses and re-assesses his patient in order to confirm said treatment plan is working. After treatment, Olli then reassesses his patients and prescribes them with homecare modalities as previously mentioned. Olli’s area of focus has been treating patients with acute, chronic pain and dysfunction, and he also has had experience working with both amateur and professional athletes throughout his career.

Ollivor’s approach to therapy is to treat the body as a whole, not just addressing the immediate symptoms, in order to facilitate healing at the origin of the problem. Olli is a passionate and caring person as he helps his patients embark on their healing journeys.

Massage Therapy consists primarily of hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, specifically, the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints for the purpose of optimizing health.

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Let our experts help with TMJ, today!

If you experience any symptoms of TMJ, be sure to talk to your therapist or dentist to determine what treatment option best suits your needs.

If you have any further questions about TMJ, book an appointment with Olli or call us today at (236) 427-4005.

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