How Can Physiotherapists Help Alleviate TMJ Pain?
The TMJ (or temporomandibular joint) is the hinged part of your jaw situated directly behind your ears. You have two temporomandibular joints (TMJs), one on each side of your skull. They operate in tandem to enable you to communicate, eat, and yawn.
You are not alone if you have jaw issues. Over 2 million Canadians have discomfort or dysfunction in their jaws. Most of the patients’ initial point of contact begins when they search for a TMJ specialist near me in Calgary. Then, the local dentists or physicians often lack expertise in musculoskeletal evaluation and treatment. That is when physiotherapists enter the picture.
Two jaw joints are present. These joints, located immediately below the ear, link the mandible to the skull. Jaw joints have the same fundamental anatomy as most other joints in the body (bones, muscle, nerves, discs, etc.). It simply happens to be there in front of you.
Jaw discomfort may develop for various causes; however, structural issues and poor habits are most common.
Your jaw joint may stiffen and snap or click. This may be excruciating. Additionally, it makes opening your mouth unpleasant and difficult to accomplish while yawning or eating. This stiffness is more prevalent after face surgery, certain dental treatments, or injuries.
TMJ issues may present with the following symptoms:
• Difficulty opening and shutting your mouth
• Popping or clicking sounds while you eat
• Biting or chewing problems
Often, the etiology of TMJ problems is unknown. It may result from trauma such as a vehicle accident, extensive dental treatment, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, or stress-induced muscular tension. Occasionally, there are instances of diseases that have no identifiable etiology.
Whatever the origin and symptoms of TMJ problems, physiotherapy may offer both immediate and long-term relief. It may assist in enhancing joint function and reduce discomfort associated with your temporomandibular joint.
How Can Physiotherapy Treat TMD?
It is important to see a dentist before starting TMJ physiotherapy. They may offer mouthguards, bite plates, as well as other physiotherapy-related equipment. TMJ physiotherapy, like any different kind of physiotherapy, begins with an examination. Your jaw form and function are evaluated, as are your posture and neck muscles, as well as a description of your problems. Typically, an examination shows any jaw deviation and clicking. Examining posture is critical since TMJ function is highly dependent on appropriate posture and mobility.
Physiotherapists may utilize a range of exercises and techniques to assist in treating TMJ problems. Exercises must strengthen the adjacent muscle while preserving the joint’s flexibility and mobility. Lateral jaw motions and the widest possible opening of the jaw contribute to improved joint function. A little massage may assist in increasing the blood floor and promoting flexibility. In certain instances, scar tissue following years of common injury may need to be released.
Additionally, TMJ specialists in south Calgary may provide recommendations about lifestyle and health modifications that may assist TMJ therapy. For instance, it’s critical to manage stress since this may result in TMJ flare-ups due to tension in the shoulders, neck, and mouth and teeth, clenching and jaw clenching during sleep.
Physiotherapy may treat TMD by alleviating joint discomfort and inflammation and restoring the TMJ’s mobility and function. As with other conditions, physiotherapy approaches TMD holistically.
So, what are the benefits of visiting a physiotherapist?
- A physiotherapist specializes in mobility and easing pain through physical therapy.
- Decide what’s causing the issue and learn how you can deal with it.
- Give yourself a targeted workout to address your issue.
- Help patients who have jaw discomfort after dental treatments.
Physiotherapists often use the following exercises:
• Posture correction
• Jaw movement exercises
• Manual therapy, which may involve massage, stretching, and joint mobilization
• Laser and ultrasound treatments
Because TMD and its treatment choices include the mouth and jaw, your physiotherapist may work with your dentist or orthodontist while developing your customized treatment plan.
Other ways to manage your TMJ pain
TMJ discomfort may be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. For extreme pain, muscle relaxants may be given. Additionally, physicians may recommend:
• mouth guards to avoid teeth grinding and jaw clenching
• mouth guards to realign your jaw
• warm towels
• ice, no more than 15 minutes per hour but not directly on the skin
• stress-relief methods to assist prevent jaw tension Severe joint discomfort may need more invasive treatment, such as corticosteroid injections into the TMJ. Surgery should be used as a last resort. Instead, you should rely on getting the best physiotherapy in Calgary to address the TMJ issues. There is scientific proof that surgical interventions are safe or helpful in these cases.