VCSST_Do you have TMJ pain?

Newsletter Do you suffer from jaw pain, headaches, painful chewing, or clicking and popping in your jaw? These could all be signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD. The temporomandibular joint is essentially where your jaw meets your skull. It is one of the most complex joints in the body and can be affected by neck and head position, eating or chewing certain foods, habitual postures or positions, and direct trauma. It is also often associated with stress and poor sleep habits. Grinding the teeth or clenching the jaw during sleep are also common causes of TMD and your dentist might be the first person to make you aware that you have this syndrome based on the wear pattern on your teeth. Other symptoms of TMD may include neck pain, ear ache or pressure, aching or tingling around the ear, face, or jaw, or even pain in the teeth. WHAT CAUSES TMJ SYNDROME? Multiple factors contribute to the muscle tightness and dysfunction that characterize this condition. Most often, poor posture and neck alignment change the pull of the muscles that make your jaw move. This causes painful grinding and irritation of the TMJ. Other causes may include:

DO YOU HAVE JAW, FACE OR EAR PAIN? IT COULD BE TMJ/TMD

A lot can be done to help TMJ, first starting with a thorough evaluation of your problem with our expert physical therapists. Once the root cause of your problem has been discovered, a comprehensive plan can be developed to quickly relieve your pain and restore natural movement to your TMJ. Furthermore, our physical therapists will teach you techniques for regaining normal jaw movement for long lasting results. The focus of physical therapy for TMD is relaxation, gentle movement and releasing tight muscles. In most cases, physical therapy can resolve TMD and rarely is surgery needed. WHY PHYSICAL THERAPY? Physical Therapy can help to: • Relieve headache, jaw and neck pain • Decrease inflammation • Restore normal joint/muscular movements • Correct posture • Increase range of motion • Poor alignment of or trauma to the teeth or jaw • Teeth grinding • Poor posture • Arthritis or other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders • Excessive gum chewing • Stress

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