Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and muscle disorders is a grouping of conditions that cause pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles that control jaw movement. More commonly known as TMJ disorder, this condition occurs more frequently amongst the female population.
The temporomandibular joint, which acts as a sliding hinge joint, connects the skull to the lower jaw at the temporal and mandible bone, as its name suggests. This joint allows the jaw to move up and down and side to side in actions such as chewing, talking and yawning. Because this joint is crucial to many daily activities, TMJ disorder can be extremely painful. If you suffer from this condition, learn about how you can benefit from physical therapy below.
Treatment for TMJ Disorder
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder, generally speaking, is a disorder of the joint and surrounding muscles which results in jaw pain, difficulty chewing and opening up your mouth wide, and clicking or locking of the jaw joint.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
This condition typically results from an interruption in the disc, or cushion, that rests inside the joint. Other possible causes of TMJ disorder are arthritis, dislocation, acute or traumatic injury, tooth and jaw alignment and/ or stress or teeth grinding. Scientists and doctors are also examining if there is a possible link between TMJ disorder and women, since it has been shown to be more common amongst women.
Risk Factors for TMJ Disorder
While there may not be a clear cut cause of TMJ disorders, there are factors that increase the risk of obtaining it. The main risk factor of experiencing TMJ disorder is arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Another common risk factor is any acute jaw injury that may have been previously sustained. Other risk factors include chronic teeth grinding or constant clenching of your teeth, as well as certain connective tissue diseases.
Temporomandibular Disorder Physical Therapy
There are many different physical therapy techniques that we use at JAG Physical Therapy to treat TMJ disorders. The focus of all of these techniques is to relax, stretch and release the tight muscles and scar tissue surrounding the joint.
Individualized treatment plans designed by our physical therapists involve jaw exercises to strengthen muscles and improve the flexibility of the joint. Massage therapy and posture training will also be used to help reduce tension and allow for proper jaw alignment.
Schedule Your NY/NJ Physical Therapy Appointment Today
If you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, discover the many benefits of physical therapy with our highly trained physical therapists at JAG. We understand how painful of a condition this can be, and as with all conditions we treat we want to make sure we are returning you to your activities of daily life feeling stronger and pain free! For more information about our services or to schedule an appointment at one of our many New York or New Jersey facilities, please contact us today at (973) 669-0078