TMJ & Physical Therapy are a great match | Blog

TMJ & Physical Therapy are a great match

  Posted: Sep 01, 2016

TMJ, also known as Temporomandibular Joint is a very painful ailment that affects the jaw. More than 15% of American adults suffer from chronic facial pain, such as jaw pain, headaches or earaches.

Many patients and even doctors do not realize that this is something that can be helped drastically by a Physical Therapist. The patient who suffers from TMJ can receive remarkable results.  A physical therapist will work closely with the patient and can develop a program that includes learning and practicing techniques that will enable the patient to regain their normal jaw movement. If you have surgery for TMJ, physical therapy will help minimize the scar tissue formations and also with the tightness of the muscles.

Proper stretching and strengthening the temporomandibular joint will help improve symptoms.  This is something that you will accomplish with an excellent physical therapist, like the ones at Liberty Rehabilitation Specialists. Research shows that 85% of cases have reported that their symptoms improved after working with a physical therapist. Now, you must know that not all physical therapist are not experts in the field of TMJ. It is imperative that you find a physical therapist that understands the relationship between the teeth and neck areas.

What to expect with physical therapy and TMJ:

  • Jaw exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Massage to relieve overall muscle tension
  • Movement of the temporomandibular joint to release scar tissue that restricts muscle movement and to improve range of motion
  • Heat therapy to improve blood circulation in the jaw
  •  Ice therapy to reduce swelling and relieve pain
  • Training to improve posture and correct jaw alignment
  •  TENS, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which is the application of a mild electrical current to the skin over the jaw joint. This current relaxes muscles, improves circulation and relieves the pain.
Ask your dentist about working with a reputable physical therapy office, such as Liberty Rehabilitation so that they can refer you and get you started on the healing path to wellness.