Have you noticed that you have difficulty yawning, chewing or opening your mouth wide? Do you experience jaw pain? Do you hear clicking noises when you open or close your mouth? If so, you may have a condition referred to as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ Dysfunction.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a condition that causes pain and stiffness of the jaw joint and its surrounding muscles. The temporomandibular joint is what connects your skull to your jaw. If this joint is injured or it becomes damaged in any way, TMJ dysfunction may develop.
The temporomandibular joint is a complex and important structure composed of bones, tendons, and muscles that may cause you to feel pain on one or both sides of the jaw. This can make it very difficult to open your mouth, speak, eat, and yawn.
Do you think you’re living with TMJ dysfunction? If so, it’s time to request an appointment with Moon Physical Therapy to find relief with physical therapy. Don’t let TMJ rule your life!
How can physical therapy provide relief for TMJ pain?
There are many home remedies that can be used to treat TMJ dysfunction. Some people respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin. Applying ice packs on the affected jaw joint can also help relieve pain. You may also find temporary relief through sedative essential oils, such as clary sage or lavender.
However, when home remedies don’t work at providing long-term relief, it might be necessary to seek medical attention. There are stronger muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory medications your doctor may prescribe to manage your pain.
If you choose to see a jaw specialist, they may also use a dental splint to keep your teeth properly aligned and prevent tooth grinding. Other types of medical treatment include trigger point acupuncture, joint replacement, or a TMJ arthroscopy.
Want to avoid taking pain-relieving medication and use a more holistic approach? Physical therapy at Moon Physical Therapy is perhaps one of the most effective treatments for TMJ dysfunction.
At your initial appointment in Mililani and Kailua, one of our physical therapist’s will conduct a thorough physical evaluation on your neck, shoulder girdle, and thoracic spine in order to determine if those structures are causing your symptoms.
Afterward, your physical therapist will create a customized treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and your specific needs.
A Moon Physical Therapy physical therapist can analyze your jaw mobility and use different treatment methods to release muscle tension in the areas surrounding your neck and head. The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal function and the interaction of the jaw muscles and joints.
Your treatment plan may consist of any combination of methods and modalities, including the following:
- Jaw exercises
- Soft tissue massage
- Joint mobilization
- Myofascial techniques
- Electrical stimulation
- Laser Therapy
How can you tell if you have TMJ dysfunction?
There is no single method or surefire way of diagnosing TMJ dysfunction. There are many reasons why TMJ dysfunction may develop, but some common causes include misalignment of the teeth, gum chewing, arthritis, teeth grinding, or a jaw injury.
Symptoms of this TMJ dysfunction include pain in the jaw, jaw popping, headaches, sore jaw muscles, locking of the jaw, pain in the temple, and earaches.
If you believe you may be suffering from this condition, don’t let it get worse! Contacting a medical professional for a complete analysis and physical exam should be your next step. Your primary care physician may also send you to an otolaryngologist or a dentist specializing in jaw disorders.
The goal is to rule out other medical problems before diagnosing the patient with TMJ dysfunction, as the symptoms may also be due to a condition known as trigeminal neuralgia, salivary gland disease, or even swollen lymph nodes.
Once your diagnosis has been determined, you will be treated based on the nature of your symptoms.
Physical therapy can help provide TMJ pain relief
If you are in Mililani and Kailua suffering from the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction, request an appointment at Moon Physical Therapy.
Our physical therapists are 100% committed to your health and working hard to help you manage and eliminate pain symptoms.
Don’t suffer from jaw pain and stiffness any longer! Contact our office today.