Do you experience face or jaw pain, tightness, or restricted mouth opening? How about noises such as popping or clicking when opening or closing your mouth? Maybe you experience ear pain, dizziness, or headaches? These may be symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Temporomandibular disorders are a group of disorders that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or chewing muscles. These disorders are more common than you may think, affecting 5-12% of the population. In fact, TMD is second only to low back pain when it comes to musculoskeletal conditions resulting in pain and disability. Despite the number of people with TMD, only 50-66% seek treatment.
Squat, bench, chin up and deadlift. What do all of these exercises have in common? They stimulate a lot of total musculature and are a great start to building a strong and aesthetic physique. Most people will progress just fine focusing on those few exercises; of course, they can sprinkle some others in there, but the nuts and bolts are there. While these exercises stimulate many muscles, they don’t do a great job of stimulating all of them effectively. It’s these body parts that need some extra work to get enough stimulus to make adaptations, and these muscles are key to providing support to your joints during your workouts and your life.
With balance and strength declining as we age, often after the mid-50s, you may think that you don’t need to worry about improving these skills until much later in life. The truth is that maintaining physical fitness throughout your 20s and 30s comes with a number of benefits that can help set you up for better overall health long-term. Let’s take a look at a few key reasons why it’s never too early to start prioritizing your joint health.
Generally speaking, exercise should not be painful. Pain is an alarm system within the body telling you something is not working properly. So, should you keep running when your knee hurts? When do you go to the doctor? Will they ask you to stop running? Can you ignore it? Stop right there.
We’ve all tweaked our ankles at some point in our lives. Some of us have even done it so forcefully that we have sprained a ligament, broken a bone, or strained a muscle. Hopefully, you took appropriate care and are feeling better, but often in my practice, I hear the dreaded phrase, “oh yeah, that’s my bad ankle. It never got better after I did (insert something youthful and nostalgic here).”
There are two forms of untreated ankle issues I see in the clinic regularly. The painful ankle that is effectively avoided or the stiff ankle that the patient thinks is normal. Both can have long-term effects on ankle health and wear and tear on the knees, hips, and even low backs.
Neck pain is a common cause of pain and lost work time in the United States and is one of the most common reasons that patients seek healthcare, with the majority of patients choosing to visit their primary care physicians first. Primary care providers may prescribe medication, imaging, and specialist referral. Once the patient sees the specialist, they may be referred to physical therapy. However, current evidence shows that early access to physical therapy, particularly via direct access (direct access to physical therapy, without the need for a referral or prescription from your physician), has been shown to decrease healthcare costs overall and improve outcomes.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain is common across all age groups and occupations. Whether you work at a computer, play contact sports, or are a world-renowned opera singer, the TMJ can be the source of much frustration. We use our jaw constantly throughout the day while talking, chewing, or trying to prop our head up on a Zoom call. Good jaw mechanics are essential.
Shoulders are the most mobile joint in the human body, offering a wide range of potential movements and positions they can get into during our daily life. The shoulder’s mobility relies on muscles, ligaments, and tendons as a source of stability rather than bone like the hip joint. Due to their nature, the shoulder is also commonly injured, with 18-26% of the population having some shoulder issues at any given moment. To combat this phenomenon, I will provide exercises aimed at improving overall shoulder health and longevity, with some nice side effects of improved posture and increased muscle tone. A good routine to follow with the following exercises is to perform 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions to supplement your current training routine.