TMJ Physical Therapy: What Is It and How Can It Help You

By Shannon Gurnee
In Health
March 27, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about what TMJ physical therapy and how it can help you.

doctor with stethoscope

You have a joint on both sides of your jaw called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Disorders in this area are painful, and unfortunately, the cause of these disorders is typically the result of multiple factors, including genetics, injury, jaw clenching and arthritis. Fortunately, physical therapy can help alleviate some of the pain you feel. Therefore, before you start searching for the best physical therapy in Moorestown, NJ, there are a few things you should know.

Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ disorders have several symptoms. Your jaw may feel tender, or you may feel outright pain in one or both joints. You may also feel pain or aches in your ears or in the general area between your jaw and ears. Your face may also ache. Your joints could lock up or you may just have trouble opening and closing your mouth or chewing your food.

TMJ Diagnosis

If you suspect that you have a TMJ disorder, you should consult a physician. You may receive dental x-rays, a CT scan or MRI. Your physician will examine your teeth and jaw, including your joint, discs and soft tissues. This professional will feel and listen to your jaw as you move it.

You will be asked to open and close your mouth so the physician can hear your jaw and evaluate your range of motion. Be prepared to have the doctor press on and around your jaw. Talk about where you feel pain or discomfort. Finally, your doctor may perform TMJ arthroscopy, where a camera in a tube is placed inside the joint to watch your jaw as you move it.

What is TMJ PT

Like many TMJ patients, you may have heard that you just have to learn to live with it. Your physician may prescribe muscle relaxants, pain relievers, anti-inflammatories or tricyclic antidepressants. You may have the option of jaw surgery as well. However, new research has found that physical therapy help.

Like pelvic floor physical therapy, TMJ PT is specialized. It targets the muscles in and around your jaw. Most TMJ PT involves manual, hands-on techniques. You may experience intraoral myofascial massage and therapies as well as trigger-point treatments. Your therapist may encourage joint mobilization and manipulation. You may also choose dry needling therapies.

Benefits of Using TMJ PT

TMJ PT reduces your muscle stiffness. It can also alleviate your pain and eliminate headaches. You may also experience range of motion restoration. Local ischemia may be reduced while synovial fluid production and proprioception can be stimulated. You can experience reductions in lockjaw due to the restoration of your displaced disk.

Continual physical therapy can retrain your jaw to move properly. At this point, you should feel less pain, and it may even be eliminated. A good physical therapist will also suggest that you see a dental therapist to help you reduce or eliminate night clenching and teeth-grinding habits.

As you search for TMJ physical therapy near me, find someone with extensive experience and training in TMJ treatment. Be patient with your treatment and follow the therapists’ instructions at home, and you should experience relief. Β 

About Has 2167 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *