TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT PROBLEMS AND INTERVENTION
Do you have pain in the jaw or in the region in front of your ear that is brought on by clenching or grinding your teeth, chewing or yawning? You could be experiencing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction which is often referred to as craniomandibular disorders (CMD). This can start by repetitive over-active muscles that control jaw movements including teeth clenching or grinding in your sleep or as a response to stress, gum chewing, pencil or finger nail biting habits or direct trauma to the jaw. This dysfunction often restricts chewing of medium or more dense foods, yawning or opening your mouth to end range. It can also cause headaches around the eye or in the temple region. Primary care physicians, dentists and oral surgeons sometimes initiate treatment with anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and/or night resting splints. Even with these interventions, some people may continue to describe partial but not total resolution of their symptoms.
After a thorough history of possible causes and current symptoms, we evaluate postural changes that typically can be a significant contributing cause, cervical and TMJ range of motion, and passive TMJ capsule mobility. These conditions often fall within one of three classifications: postural/muscle imbalances (including associated neck pain and headaches), jaw hypermobility (including joint capsule and TMJ disc displacement) or jaw hypomobility (including capsular and/or scar tissue contractures). Our specific treatment approaches are based upon our findings.
Optimal Physical Therapy and Sports Performance offers a specialty patient treatment program for the musculoskeletal contributing factors that can lead to TMJ/CMD conditions and has had excellent results. Our physical therapists have had additional training and education on how to best help these conditions. We encourage you to talk with us about our successful treatments before spending thousands of dollars out of your pocket with other service providers. Call us today to discuss your condition at 724-779-1300.