How Physical Therapy Can Help Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
Do you experience pain in your jaw, face, or neck? You may have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a condition that affects the joints and muscles that control chewing. TMD can cause pain and difficulty opening your mouth wide, and can also lead to headaches, neck pain, and other problems. Fortunately, physical therapy can help! In this blog post, we will discuss how physical therapy can help relieve TMD and improve your quality of life.
What Causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
TMD is a common condition that affects millions of Americans. The exact cause of TMD is unknown, but it is thought to be the result of a combination of factors, including genetics, arthritis, stress, and teeth clenching or grinding. While there is no cure for TMD, physical therapy can help relieve the pain and other symptoms associated with the condition.
When you come to Twin Boro Physical Therapy for TMD treatment, your therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the root cause of your pain. Once the cause is determined, your therapist will create a custom treatment plan to address your specific needs, which includes a combination of exercises, manual therapy, and education.
How Long Does Temporomandibular Disorder Pain Last?
The duration of TMD pain can vary depending on the individual. For some people, the pain is short-lived and goes away within a few days. For others, the pain can last for weeks, months, or even years. The good news is that physical therapy can help relieve TMD pain, no matter how long you have been dealing with it. To prevent the pain from returning or worsening, we recommend seeking treatment from a physical therapist as soon as you start to experience TMD pain. The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you will find relief!
How Can Physical Therapy Help Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)?
There are many different ways that physical therapy can help relieve TMD pain. These include:
- Exercise: Specific exercises can help stretch and strengthen the muscles around the jaw, relieving pain and improving function. These exercises include opening and closing the mouth, side-to-side movements, and head and neck stretches.
- Manual therapy: This is a type of hands-on treatment that can help relieve pain and improve range of motion of the temporomandibular joint and neck. Techniques used in manual therapy for these structures include soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, and trigger point release, which increase range of motion, reduce pain, and help relieve tension.
- Ultrasound: This therapy uses high frequency sound waves to heat the tissues and reduce inflammation. For patients with stiffness or tension, ultrasound can help loosen the muscles and improve range of motion. It can also help reduce pain.
- Education: It is important to learn about TMD and what you can do to prevent the pain from returning or worsening. Your physical therapist will provide you with information on proper posture, ergonomics, diet, stress management, and other lifestyle changes that can help reduce pain and improve function.
What are the Benefits of Physical Therapy for TMD Pain?
There are many benefits of physical therapy for TMD, including:
- Relief from pain and discomfort
- Increased range of motion in the jaw
- Improved ability to chew and speak
- Reduced risk of future injury
- Prevention of TMD flare-ups
- Improved quality of life
How Quickly Will I See Improvement?
The length of time it takes to see results from physical therapy depends on the individual and the severity of their condition. In most cases, people begin to see improvement within a few weeks of starting treatment. However, some people may need more time to see significant results.
What are the Risks of Not Treating TMD Disorder?
If left untreated, TMD can lead to:
- Worsening pain
- Limited range of motion in the jaw
- Difficulty chewing and speaking
- Increased risk of injury
- Frequent TMD flare-ups
What Sets Twin Boro Physical Therapy Apart?
For over 40 years, Twin Boro Physical Therapy has been providing high-quality physical therapy services to patients in New Jersey. Many of our expert physical therapists have over 25 years of experience treating TMD and other jaw disorders. We offer a wide range of treatment options, and our therapists will work with you to create a custom treatment plan that meets your unique needs.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Twin Boro Physical Therapy has 42 locations in 13 New Jersey counties, flexible scheduling, and accepts most major insurance plans. If you are suffering from TMD pain, don’t wait any longer to seek treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists. We will work with you to create a custom treatment plan that will relieve your pain and help you regain normal function.