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Unlocking jaw pain with Leslie Russek, DPT, PhD

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Jaw pain affects a relatively large percentage of the general population, but is even more problematic for those on the hypermobility spectrum. It’s not often something we think of addressing, however, until it’s clamoring for our attention.

Leslie Russek, DPT, PhD is a practicing orthopedic physical therapist specializing in hypermobility syndromes, fibromyalgia, headaches, and chronic pain. She speaks with Bendy Bodies about temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and jaw pain sharing her wisdom on this topic.

Dr. Russek describes the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and why people with hypermobility should be aware of this commonly misunderstood joint. She illuminates the link between TMD and proprioception, as well as how muscles outside the jaw can cause jaw problems.

We learn strategies for mouth breathing, a possible contributor to TMD, hear practical actions for reducing jaw pain, and learn about the link between the jaw and issues such as headaches or tooth pain.

Finally, Dr. Russek walks us through her steps for finding a healthy resting position, and talks through the Rocabado 6x6 exercise program for TMD.

With practical pointers on addressing jaw pain and dysfunction, this episode is helpful for every bendy body with jaw tightness.


Interesting in learning more about Leslie Russek? Click here for her department page and here for her "Hypermobility 101" lecture.

Be sure to subscribe to the Bendy Bodies with the Hypermobility MD Podcast as we have lots of other episodes that you won't want to miss.

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