Have you been experiencing jaw pain? Noticed it hurts to talk and chew your food? Then Physical Therapy might be the place for you!
What is TMJD?
TMJD, or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, is a common condition that limits the natural functions of the jaw and can affect all ages and genders. The most common symptoms associated with TMJD include jaw pain, jaw fatigue, restricted movement, popping or clicking during opening of the jaw, clenching or grinding of the teeth, neck pain, ringing in the ears, and headaches. Physical therapy can help all of these symptoms!
What can Physical Therapy do for you?
There are many different ways physical therapy can improve your TMJD depending on how and why you are experiencing your symptoms. Physical therapy works to improve posture which can be one of the main causes of TMJD. Physical therapy can also improve restricted movements of the jaw, strengthen and stretch muscles attached to the jaw that may be part of the cause, and manual therapy to release tension. All of these help to restore normal jaw alignment and manage patient’s symptoms. Physical therapy also has many options available for pain relief.
How do you prevent TMJD?
Prevention is key! By decreasing your stress and anxiety you can limit the amount you clench your jaw and grind your teeth. Decreasing your stress and anxiety levels also promotes relaxation of the neck musculature which is closely related to TMJD. Another way you can prevent TMJD is good posture. Make sure you sit/stand with your shoulders back and your spine in a neutral position. While sitting on the couch, looking down at our phones, or at the desk all day at work, we tend to sit with rounded shoulders and a forward head position. Avoiding this position is important to prevent TMJD.
Did you know that more than 50% of the population experiences symptoms associated with TMJD at least once a year; however, only about 5% of the population will seek treatment? Don’t let that be you! Take control of your TMJD now!
“Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.” American Physical Therapy Association. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 July 2017.