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.
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.
There are a lot of different ways to provide treatment for people dealing with headaches, neck pain, jaw issues, symptoms related to whiplash following a motor vehicle accident, or dizziness; however, when guided by a physical therapist treatment is often supported by research as well as the therapist’s experience. One unique technique to address many of these issues uses a cervical laser headlamp to retrain how you balance your head and neck in space. It often feels like a game which can make therapy more fun and interesting. It also offers patients immediate feedback. But how and why does it work? Let’s explore.
Do you have pain in your jaw? Do you have trouble smiling, yawning, or chewing? Do you have clicking or popping in your jaw or have been told you clench or grind your teeth? Do you feel you’ve tried all the retainers or guards from your dentist, and just haven’t gotten back to 100 percent yet? If so, you may want to consider physical therapy (PT)!
Are you having pain or clicking in your jaw while yawning or laughing? Does it cause you prolonged pain to chew delicious foods such as a steak, apple, or bagel? Did your dentist offer you a retainer or splint because you grind, clench or have worn your teeth? Answering yes to these questions may indicate that you have a dysfunction going on in or around your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or more simply, issues related to opening and closing your jaw.
The temporomandibular joint is the joint where your jaw attaches to the temple of the skull. It is a hinge joint that allows you to move your jaw up and down, and side to side. This joint is essential for guiding mandibular motion such as chewing, swallowing and speaking.
Why do I have ear pain but I was diagnosed with TMD?
Eye pressure, headaches, earaches, blurred vision, toothaches, facial burning/tingling and neck pain:
Upon hearing a patient complain of one or more of these symptoms, one possible diagnosis from a physician may be temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD).
Every year in October, we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month. There are many individuals that have seen a physical therapist (PT) for common reasons such as low back pain or knee pain. There are many different conditions, however, that PTs may treat that you may not be aware of. In order to keep up their professional license, PTs are required to take continuing education courses. Often, these courses may give a therapist a special set of skills for treating a certain condition or diagnosis. The following is a list of conditions that many individuals may not be aware that can be treated by a PT. (more…)