One of the pieces of diagnostic information I look at during a joint & muscle exam is whether the patient can open widely, smoothly, and straight up and down. A deviation on opening is a significant finding and makes me ask the question why? When a patient’s opening and closing movements meander right and left there is an underlying cause. It could be as simple as muscle tightness, contraction and a sign of an occluso-muscle disorder. Alternatively, the cause could be the position of the disc in relationship to the head of the condyle. A disc displacement often causes the patients muscles to learn a programmed series of contractions so they can move around it instead of being “locked” behind it. The following video demonstrates looking at deviation on opening and two patient examples of a deviation, one that is muscle based and the other that is a displaced disc.
The Ultimate Occlusion Series from Clinical Mastery.