Chronic jaw pain can be very frustrating and painful. TMJ Syndrome or Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) is a broad term that includes disorders of the temporomandibular joint and its associated anatomical structures.
It affects about 40% of the population at some point in their lives. The disorder may be intra-articular,
due to inflammation, internal structural changes (internal derangement) or degeneration, or it may be extra- articular
due to imbalance or over-activity of the jaw muscles, the muscles of mastication, or the cervical muscles.
There is a strong correlation between postural dysfunction of the cervical spine and TMD. There are numerous
other conditions that can cause pain in the TMJ region. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis to
ensure that the correct treatment is given and that potentially serious problems are not overlooked.
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for relieving pain, reducing symptoms, and preventing recurrence.
Symptoms of TMD May include:
Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide.
You may experience problems when you open your mouth wide or your jaw gets “stuck” or “locked” in the open or closed position.
Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite -- as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
Swelling on the side of your face
Intra Oral TMJ Treatment
Many treatments will include soft tissue manipulation of the outside jaw muscles as well as up the side of the head
and joint manipulations to the TMJ itself. While this can be beneficial, it is missing one crucial muscle group
that can only be accessed by going inside the mouth. The Pterygoid muscle group is responsible
for many movements of the jaw including mastication and during mandibular movements such as protrusion
(forward movement of the mandible), abduction (depression of the mandible), mediotrusion (movement of the
mandibular condyle towards the midline) and particularly during speaking, singing and clenching.
Including intra-oral manipulations to these muscles has a profound impact on relieving TMJ Dysfunction.
If you are experiencing TMJ Syndrome and have not had any success in treatment, come see us at WAV PT for help.
We will do a thorough evaluation to determine the source of dysfunction and create a personalized
Plan of Care that includes manual therapy to relieve tension in the muscles of mastication and therapeutic exercises
to restore balance of the jaw, face, and head as well as increase strength of the weak muscles that may be affecting the jaw.
Movement can help! GYROTONIC® exercises can also help release tension in the neck, shoulders, and jaw area. The system focuses on creating length and space in the spine, including decompression of the cervical spine and in the neck and jaw.
Stress relief is an important factor. Regular practice of the Gyrotonic Method will promote
your ability to relax and achieve homeostasis in your body.
Your Options for Treatment and Maintenance
Insurance: 1:1 with your DPT followed by aide work with a Gyrotonic or Pilates trainer or Physical Therapy Aide.
Hybrid cash pay:
A al carte, single treatment sessions 1:1 with your DPT
20 min bodywork 'spot' treatments for those either on a time or financial budget
30-min or 1-hr therapeutic sessions with specialized trainers
Continued support through our classes and wellness programs
When people discuss sinus pain, Physical Therapy is usually not discussed as a treatment option. There are many causes of sinus pain and for some people it can be a very uncomfortable chronic issue.
While Physical Therapy can not cure or eliminate the cause of sinus pain, there are some Manual Therapy
techniques that can alleviate some of the pressure and pain associated by working on specific muscles and soft tissue surrounding the face and head and mild joint manipulation to the Nasomaxillary suture (joint).
If you are experiencing TMJ Syndrome or sinus pain, come see us at WAV PT for effective relief!