First, let’s start by understanding what the temporomandibular joint is and where it’s located.
Your body has a temporomandibular joint on each side of your head. It connects your lower jaw, known as the mandible, to the temporal bone in your skull—hence the name, “temporomandibular.”
The temporomandibular joint allows your mouth to open and close, flexibly and smoothly, thereby facilitating speaking, chewing, and yawning. It’s one of the most frequently used joints in your body.
Any type of discomfort in the temporomandibular joint can be painful to bear. You won’t be able to chew your food or talk properly. People also struggle to sleep with the condition as the temporomandibular pain might be intense enough to keep them awake.
There are many different treatments for temporomandibular joint pain. You could try massage or medicine, and some people opt for surgery for pain relief. Physical therapy, or PT, is another option to relieve temporomandibular pain.
Physical Therapy for Temporomandibular Joint Pain
Physical therapy is an auxiliary rehabilitation method that helps patients manage their temporomandibular joint pain.
Physical therapy for temporomandibular joint pain involves a number of treatments, including heat or ice application, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, ultrasound treatment, and physical exercise. Treatments for temporomandibular joint pain depend on individual case conditions.
When first visit your physical therapist for temporomandibular joint pain, they’ll get a baseline measurement of your temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) condition. Based on test results and your medical history, the therapist will then make treatment plans to treat TMD.
PT treatments for TMD
The objective of all PT treatments is to help you regain healthy and pain-free movement of your jaw. Some PT options for TMD are:
- Heat/Cold Therapy
Heat application helps relax your jaw muscles while ice helps decrease pain and inflammation around your jaw.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
TENS comprises jolting your skin with electrical current to cause a hyperactive relaxation of jaw and facial muscles to decrease pain.
- Physical Exercises
Most cases of temporomandibular joint pain get better with physical therapy within six to eight weeks. However, some cases may take longer.
Do you often feel pain in your jaw or facial area? You may have a temporomandibular joint disorder. Consult a licensed physical therapist near you for a confirmed diagnosis and ask them if physical therapy is a choice for you.
The team at ProMovePT wishes you a speedy recovery.
ProMove PT Pain Specialists is a private physical therapy clinic based in Bethesda. The clinic provides patients with the best physical therapy care, under the esteemed guidance of Dr. Michelle Finnegan, to help them get back to normal life quickly and safely. Call (301) 388-8822 for more details or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.