TMJ pain can be truly debilitating. The stiffness and soreness in your jaw can make it hard to chew, talk, and even smile. People with TMJ pain often struggle to find effective treatments. Some get relief from mouthguards or massages while others do not. If you've tried a few remedies for your TMJ pain but to no avail, then you may want to make an appointment with a physical therapist. Physical therapy is not just for injured knees and hip replacements — it can be really helpful for TMJ pain patients, too. Keep reading to learn more.
How can physical therapy help ease TMJ pain?
TMJ pain can have a number of causes and contributing factors. Often, it is associated with arthritis or weakness in the joint itself. Habits like grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw can make these conditions worse or aggravate them. A physical therapist can help interrupt the cycle by guiding you through exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and connective tissues around your jaw. As these tissues grow stronger, they are better able to support the joint, so there will be less tension and rubbing when the joint moves.
What sorts of exercises will the PT have you do?
Generally, the physical therapist will show you exercises that require you to move your jaw in a certain way. You may be asked to "make circles" with your lower jaw or chin. You may also be asked to move your lower jaw back and forth or forward. Sometimes, they may have you chew on gum or a chewy ball in a certain way. You'll do these exercises in their office, but you'll probably also be advised to do them at home. The relief won't be instant, but within a few weeks of doing the exercises regularly, you should start to notice some relief from your TMJ pain.
Can you combine physical therapy with other TMJ treatments?
Yes. That's the best part about physical therapy. It can easily be used in conjunction with the other remedies often used for TMJ pain. You can still wear a mouth guard at night, massage your jaw, and even take pain relievers. If you're getting some relief but not full relief from those remedies, then PT might be the final piece in the puzzle you need for full relief.
If TMJ pain is bothering you, physical therapy might be the answer. For more information, contact a company like Riverside Physical Medicine of Poughkeepsie.Share
6 February 2023
One day, in the middle of helping my kids to clean up the house, I lifted a box weird and threw out my back. It was frustrating, but I assumed that it would go away on its own. I was wrong. After trying everything I could think of to resolve the problem, my back still hurt and I couldn't stand up straight. After a week of suffering, I made the decision to meet with a chiropractor. He inspected my back, took x-rays, and figured out that I had slipped a disc. I started a grueling physical therapy routine, but after a few days, things started to improve. Read this blog to learn more about chiropractors.