Have you ever experienced any of the following symptoms? Jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, ear discomfort, jaw out of alignment, click in your jaw joint when you chew? You might have a Temporomandibular joint disorder.
Temporomandibular disorder is the name given to a complex pathology that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) causing pain in your jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. It is important to have an accurate diagnosis to ensure that the correct treatment is given and that potentially serious problems are not overlooked. Here at one2one, our physiotherapist Paolo Perna specilaises in the assessment and treatment of TMJ disorders.
The disorder may be intra-articular, due to inflammation, internal structure changes or degeneration, or it may be extra-articular due to imbalance or over-activity of the jaw muscles, commonly the muscles we use for chewing or the muscles in our neck.
Very often the muscular spasm of the jaw muscles is the main cause of pain and discomfort. The tension in your muscles can affect the quality of your sleep and lead to a restless night. Clenching your teeth can damage the arrangement or condition of your teeth and tire the muscles required for chewing. In the morning your jaw might feel stiff and it could be difficult to eat your breakfast pain-free.
Physiotherapy treatments are very effective in relieving and managing TMD, even when the symptoms are long- standing and severe. With appropriate physiotherapy most of the patients will see a significant improvement in their symptoms within 3 to 6 weeks.
Treatment may include soft tissue release to the affected muscles, joint mobilisation techniques, trigger point treatment, acupuncture and exercises to improve coordination, stability and alignment of the jaw. It is also important to treat any associated neck pain and headaches. An holistic approach is recommended and it may include posture education, long-term continuance of an home exercise programme, good sleep habits (sleeping positions, exercise before going to bed, morning routine), stress management and diet modification.
For more information please call 01656 652635.