What is TMD and TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint of the jaw where the lower jaw (mandible) meets the skull below the temples. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is a combination of jaw pain, neck pain, headaches, and earaches associated with unhealthy movement patterns , clicking, popping or locking of the jaw. These disorders affect nearly 10 million Americans, but can be effectively managed through physical therapy.
Physical Therapy and TMD
Research has shown that physical therapy can help manage jaw pain related to TMD. In order to provide you with the best care, your physical therapist will perform an evaluation of your jaw and neck and determine the treatment pathway that fits YOUR specific dysfunction.
At Body One, we emphasize education of the condition to our patients as the first step of management. Further, we will explore areas such as posture correction, diet, mobilization and relaxation, and overall joint strength and flexibility. We believe in working with your dentist or orthodontist to provide the best advice and care possible.
- Trauma from a dental procedure, direct blow to the head, face, or jaw, or whiplash from a car accident.
- Poor posture from sitting most of the day at work or at home.
- Stress that causes clenching of the jaw during the day or bruxing at night.
- Osteoarthritis – more stress on the joint than able to handle.
- Pain in the chewing muscles and/or jaw joint or jaw muscle stiffness.
- Noticeable and frequient clicking, popping, or locking of the jaw while eating or talking.
- Frequent headaches that could be mistaken for tension headaches.
- Continuing earaches or ringing in the ears.
CAUTION: Jaw pain also can be a symptom of heart attack. Seek medical care immediately if jaw pain is accompanied by:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Left arm pain
- Numbness in the left arm
Our TMD specialists have provided multiple educational presentations for Dental Professionals regarding physical therapy for TMJ dysfunction. If you, your dental practice or professional organization would be interested in having one of our therapists present on this topic, please contact us at email@example.com or Csavage@bodyonept.com
“I was very hesitant to start physical therapy after months of painful, costly, and what I felt at the time, to be largely unsuccessful treatment of my TMJ. I felt it would be yet another expense for little or no result. I couldn’t have been more wrong. To say that Punam has changed my life wouldn’t be an over statement. Show More
“My TMJ journey began in Fall 2002 after having been rear-ended and rear-ending someone else coupled with the stress of grad school and life. After many treatment modalities – some of which provided short-term relief, some of which made it worse – I ended up getting a prosthetic jaw in December 2018. I had nerve complications from a controlled break (sagittal split osteotomy) on the other side to finally allow me to have an even bite. While my bite was fixed and the prosthesis allowed for a generally pain-free right side, the nerve damage and left side joint was getting increasingly more painful. I had various other Physical Therapists treat me and, while none were bad, I am certainly not a textbook case. Enter Dr. Hills!Show More