TMJ Treatment

TMJ palpation intraoral

Treatment of your TMJ Disorder involves a multifactorial approach. We work with your dentist or surgeon, as applicable. Our goal is to achieve pain relief as soon as possible, and then to restore normal motion, relaxation, and posture to prevent recurrence of your symptoms. Saunders physical therapists specialize in TMJ disorder treatment – choosing Saunders means you will be treated by an experienced professional.

The Saunders TMJ Treatment Philosophy

Musculoskeletal Evaluation: We look at your posture and its potential contribution to TMJ dysfunction. We often discover muscle imbalances of the jaw and neck. We perform a biomechanical evaluation of the temporomandibular joint, cervical spine and craniofacial region. We inquire about habits that can contribute to symptoms, including jaw clenching or grinding the teeth.

Treatment:  Treatment may include manual therapy such as joint mobilization, craniosacral therapy, and myofascial release techniques. Neuromuscular re-education also plays a large role to improve muscle imbalances and decrease strain on the TMJ and cervical spine.

We may use therapeutic modalities such as iontophoresis or ultrasound. Instruction in diet and habit modification is important to decrease irritation to the tissues. Finally, we help you independently manage symptoms through a home exercise program.

TMJ palpation intraoral

It is common for people with TMJ disorders to also have neck problems. Spinal dysfunction affects the mechanics of the TMJ and correction of posture and spinal joint and muscle imbalances is often key to TMJ pain or headache relief. At Saunders Therapy Centers, we can evaluate your head, neck, and jaw to determine the root cause of your symptoms, and develop a treatment plan to get you feeling better in no time

 

Categories TMJ

TMJ Symptoms

physical therapist explaining TMJ anatomy

How do you tell if your facial, head, or neck pain is related to your temporomandibular (TMJ) joint? The TMJ is the hinge joint that opens and closes your jaw. The joint can be palpated just in front of the ear, or from inside the ear. The muscles that operate this joint to open and close the jaw can be palpated along the temple, jawbone, and from inside the mouth. Sometimes, you can feel pain directly in the area around the joint, but there are other symptoms you should be aware of:

  • Neck pain
  • Aching facial pain
  • Headache
  • Pain or tenderness of the jaw muscles
  • Aching pain in or around the ear
  • Difficulty with or pain with chewing
  • Jaw “locking” or difficulty opening or closing

It is common for people with TMJ disorders to also have neck problems. Neck posture definitely affects the mechanics of the TMJ and correction of posture and treatment of neck dysfunction is often key to TMJ pain or headache relief. At Saunders Therapy Centers, we can evaluate your head, neck, and jaw to determine the root cause of your symptoms, and develop a treatment plan to get you feeling better in no time.

 

Categories TMJ

TMJ Headache

Neck Pain Treatment Technique

TMJ headaches can be disabling. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell where your headache is coming from – a good physical therapist can help! The temporomandibular joint has several muscular attachments, and a seemingly simple thing like forward head posture can place abnormal stress on those muscles. Pain receptors from the muscles are activated, triggering a headache.

Another source of TMJ headaches is the joint itself. A swollen, inflamed joint causes muscles to become tight and inflamed, causing spasm. Resulting headache can be felt around the skull, face and even neck areas. Saunders physical therapists are skilled at evaluating and treating most TMJ disorders. There is often both a muscular and a joint component, and the neck and upper back are often involved. At Saunders, our approach entails:

Musculoskeletal Evaluation: A thorough evaluation will be performed on your initial visit. We can determine which tissues are  involved by palpating the joint and muscles externally around the head and neck, and inside your mouth.

Manual Therapy: Our therapists all have advanced training in manual therapy which is a hands-on approach that addresses restrictions and provides gentle stimulation to relieve pain.

Exercise: Depending on whether your symptoms are caused by posture, neck or jaw tightness, or instability, a custom exercise program will be prescribed.

Postural Education and Positions of Relief: Our physical therapists will teach you body awareness and you will learn mechanics and postures that decrease load and stress on the spine and jaw. Something as simple as the resting position of your tongue can make a big difference!

Neck Pain Treatment Technique

 

 

Categories TMJ