Dry Needling for TMJ Disorders | TMJ Chiropractor

Dry needling is a growing treatment modality used in the management of an array of musculoskeletal conditions. At Empowered Health Chiropractic, our Geelong-based TMJ chiropractors utilise dry needling in the treatment of TMJ disorders, often involving the muscles of the jaw, face & skull.

In this post, our Geelong chiropractor Luka, will discuss some of the several benefits dry needling can have.

Reduction in pain

When compared to other treatment options and sham therapy, dry needling improved pain intensity and pressure pain threshold.

Interestingly, when compared to wet needling with local anesthetic, Lignocaine, dry needling had similar outcomes in the short-term.

Reduction in muscle activity / Increase muscle relaxation

This is thought to be due to a cascade that reduces a specific neurotransmitter, increasing local muscle oxygenation levels, leading to relaxation of muscles in the area.

Increase mouth opening range

Often an outcome of pain and muscle activity reduction, allowing for a greater range of motion of the TMJ.

Improve jaw mechanics

Dry needling has been considered a neuromuscular de-programmer, due to its changes at a nervous system & muscular level.

Often these changes, in conjunction with exercise therapy, can promote better muscle & joint function of the jaw.


  1. Dib-Zakkour J, Flores-Fraile J, Montero-Martin J, Dib-Zakkour S, Dib-Zaitun I. Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Dry Needling in the Treatment of Myogenous Temporomandibular Joint Disorders. Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Feb 9;58(2):256. doi: 10.3390/medicina58020256. PMID: 35208580; PMCID: PMC8876889.
  2. Vier C, Almeida MB, Neves ML, Santos ARSD, Bracht MA. The effectiveness of dry needling for patients with orofacial pain associated with temporomandibular dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Braz J Phys Ther. 2019 Jan-Feb;23(1):3-11. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.08.008. Epub 2018 Aug 22. PMID: 30146108; PMCID: PMC6546838.

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Luka Fantela