Maxillofacial Physiotherapy Unit

Maxillofacial Physiotherapy Unit

At the Maxillofacial Physiotherapy Unit of the Maxillofacial Institute we address and treat pain in the entire Neck and Orofacial region, that is, the area including face, mouth and neck.

Once ruled out the need for a treatment with your otolaryngologist, our Physiotherapy Unit can help you alleviate or fight recurring pains or discomforts related to the maxillofacial area. All the techniques we use are aimed at alleviating pain for the patient, restoring lost function, and eliminating the habits that cause the discomfort in most cases.

Our main fields of action are:

    • Neck and craniomandibular dysfunction
    • Pre-and post-operative rehabilitation following Maxillofacial Surgery

In our multidisciplinary team we have two physiotherapists: Jordi Vázquez and Elena Grifols, both specialized in this field and with more than 15 years of experience exclusively treating this type of problems.

What is Maxillofacial Physiotherapy used for?

The manipulation and/or mobilisation techniques used by the physiotherapist to diagnose and treat the soft tissue and the joint structures allow:

  • Alleviation of pain
  • Increased range of movement
  • Reduction or elimination of soft tissue inflammation
  • Promotion of relaxation.


Neck and craniomandibular dysfunction

The jaw forms part of a complex biomechanics involving the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the cervical vertebrae and the muscles of the neck, face and throat.

There are three degrees of dysfunction:

  • Myofascial pain, which causes discomfort in the muscles of the face, throat and neck.
    This can also manifest with other symptoms such as limited mobility of the mouth and neck, vertigo/imbalance, fullness of the ears and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
  • In an advanced stage, there may be alterations in the joints, with the appearance of noises in the jaw, limited mobility and intense pain in the area in front of the ear.
    In cases where the TMJ dysfunction is muscle related, physiotherapy and re-education sessions are prescribed to eliminate harmful habits such as bruxism, poor lingual function and incorrect posture. This is the only way to achieve stable results. In the case of bruxism, physiotherapy is combined with the use of a discharge splint.
    The techniques used include massage and stretching of the neck and face muscles, work on improving posture and breathing, and relaxation techniques.
  • If the dysfunction has caused joint damage, non-invasive surgery may be necessary for better results.
    If the patient’s dysfunction requires any other type of physiotherapy, the Maxillofacial Institute will assess the case with the multidisciplinary team of doctors and other specialists at the Centre.

Post-operative rehabilitation following Maxillofacial Surgery

Following more complex maxillofacial surgery such as, for example, orthognathic surgery or the removal of a tumour, physiotherapy sessions are necessary for promoting tissue repair, improving the function of the area affected by the surgery and for treating post-operative pain. The physiotherapist should base the treatment on fundamental criteria such as diagnosis, pain mechanisms and the clinical situation of the patient, as well as on the psychosocial aspects involved.

In some cases, physiotherapy before surgery may also be necessary. Some problems require pre-surgery sessions in order to achieve a satisfactory recovery.