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Naturopathic Doctor

Management of Common Conditions 259
The TMJ: Examination and Treatment



  • Distinguish the anatomical structures involved in TMJ dysfunction, including the temporomandibular joint, mandible, and associated muscles and the different types of jaw movements and their biomechanical implications.
  • Interpret the normal biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint during various jaw movements.
  • Identify the key ligaments and soft tissues supporting the temporomandibular joint and the factors that can lead to abnormal biomechanics and dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint.
  • Explain the role of muscle imbalances and joint misalignments in TMJ dysfunction.
  • Differentiate the relationship between the temporomandibular joint and adjacent anatomical structures.


  • Appraise the various assessment tools used in evaluating TMJ dysfunction, such as patient history, physical examination, and imaging studies.
  • Arrange a comprehensive physical examination of the temporomandibular joint, including range of motion assessment, palpation, loading, stressing, and compressing.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform a comprehensive evaluation of TMJ dysfunction and posture, including assessing range of motion, muscle strength, joint stability, and postural alignment.
  • Discriminate the indications of differential diagnoses for TMJ dysfunction.
  • Analyze the findings from a TMJ dysfunction and posture assessment to formulate an accurate clinical diagnosis.

Mobilization and Adjusting

  • Develop a holistic approach to managing TMJ dysfunction, considering both conservative and interventional treatment options.
  • Apply specific chiropractic techniques and adjustments aimed at restoring normal joint alignment and function of the temporomandibular joint and about occlusal splints and their use in managing TMJ dysfunction.
  • Propose a role of therapeutic exercises and stretching in improving jaw mobility and strengthening supporting muscles and the importance of patient education and lifestyle modifications in the management of TMJ dysfunction.
  • Develop a treatment plan for patients with TMJ dysfunction and posture issues, incorporating therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques, postural re-education, and other appropriate interventions.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of potential benefits and risks associated with various treatment modalities for TMJ dysfunction and posture problems, considering evidence-based practices and patient-specific factors


  • Develop effective communication skills to educate patients about TMJ dysfunction, its causes, and treatment options.
  • Establish efficient and patient-centered procedures for the assessment and management of TMJ dysfunction in a chiropractic practice.
  • Recognize the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in managing complex cases of TMJ dysfunction specific to the role of dentists in assessing and managing occlusal factors contributing to TMJ dysfunction.
  • Foster collaborative relationships with other healthcare providers involved in the management of TMJ dysfunction to ensure coordinated and comprehensive patient care.
  • Stay updated with current research and advancements in the field of TMJ dysfunction and posture, fostering a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

David Hannah, DC, DACO

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