What Is TMJ Syndrome?
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull. If there is an injury to this joint or it becomes damaged, it can cause TMJ syndrome. TMJ can also be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, gum chewing, arthritis, teeth grinding or jaw injury. Symptoms of this TMJ disorder include pain in the jaw, jaw popping, headaches, sore jaw muscles, locking of the jaw, pain in the temple and earache. It is important to realize that the temporomandibular joint is a complex and important structure comprised of bones, tendons and muscles, and you may have pain on one or both sides of the jaw.
How Physical Therapy Can Help?
Physical therapy is effective in the treatment of TMJ. The physical therapist will analyze your jaw mobility and release muscle tension in the neck and head area. A comprehensive evaluation is done of the neck, shoulder girdle and thoracic spine to determine if those structures are causing your symptoms. The goal of physical therapy is to restore the interaction of the muscles and joints, to improve mobility and alignment along with strengthening the muscles, and to restore normal function. If the patient has scar tissue, we can help treat that too. Treatment may consist of different modalities. Active modalities include soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, myofascial techniques and jaw exercises. Electric stimulation and ultrasound may be used to decrease muscle tension and provide pain relief. In addition, the physical therapist can educate you on dietary changes that will decrease stress on the jaw joint.
Are you having difficulty chewing or yawning? Do you have jaw pain? Do you hear a clicking noise when you open and shut your mouth? These may all be signs of TMJ syndrome. Don’t suffer anymore! To learn more about TMJ therapy, please feel free to call or contact us today. Our team is made up of enthusiastic, hands-on providers who offer a comprehensive range of services. We look forward to giving you the care you deserve.