TMJ

TMJ Jaw Pain

It is estimated that 75% of the adult population have at least one sign of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) and 20% will suffer functional loss due to this disorder. The majority of those affected have had fluctuating symptoms for greater than six weeks and often seek medical attention only after malocclusion or significant jaw restriction is experienced.

The most common primary symptoms associated with TMD are:

  • Facial pain
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
  • Restricted mouth opening
  • Pain with chewing
  • TMJ clicking or locking

Secondary symptoms include: neck pain and restriction, headache, earache, and tooth pain.

Studies suggest that conservative treatment, including physical therapy, will improve both subjective and objective TMD findings in approximately 80% of patients. Our goal-directed treatment program focuses on long-term management and patient education.

Treatment

Pain Relief

Modalities (treatment tools) may be used to reduce inflammation, edema, and pain as well as improve tissue extensibility and promote healing.

Postural Education

 Head, neck, and jaw pain often result from faulty positioning or postural deficits that exist with normal daily activities. It is important to recognize those postures that increase symptoms and cause discomfort in order to restore normal joint and muscle mobility and maintain orthostatic equilibrium.

Stabilization Exercises

  • Proprioceptive training and tracking exercises will be used to improve TMJ mechanics and neuromuscular control.
  • Hypermobility is treated with stabilization techniques to avoid excessive anterior translation of the condyle and control joint rotation 

Manual Therapy Techniques

Range of motion exercise and joint mobilization will serve to improve TMJ and/or cervical spine hypomobility.

Relaxation Training

Biofeedback and relaxation training may be instituted to reinforce normal muscle action.

Therapeutic Exercise and Home Instruction

Exercise training focuses on specific deficits or imbalances that affect upper quarter positioning and function. It is used to obtain long-term benefits.