Posterior Capsule Palpation

In neutral jaw position, it is very hard to palpate the posterior joint line and capsule.  It is important to have a good understanding of how tender to palpation the posterior capsule is, as it can help differentiate the cause of pain between occlusal issues and poor motor control.  

 

The best way to get to the posterior joint line is to laterally deviate the jaw to the other side, which will cause the condyle to translate forward and expose both the posterior aspect and anterior aspect of the joint.  It is generally considered a tender area, so we are looking at difference in pain left vs right or an exquisite pain response.