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How Physical Therapy for TMJ Can Help

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw, you could be having problems with your temporomandibular joint, also referred to as TMJ. A number of things can cause TMJ disorders (TMD) and it can be distracting enough to affect your daily activities, even with something as simple as eating. The professionals at Impact Medical Sarasota are here to teach you the signs of TMD and how physical therapy can help resolve issues with your TMJ.

What is TMD?

Usually, TMD is brought about by stress or displacement of the disc in your joint. This can include poor posture, excessive or intense clenching of the teeth (also known as bruxism), or chewing things that are too hard for the jaw to handle. These actions could also lead to inflammation.

Problems You Might Experience

TMJ disorders can take the form of many issues. One common problem is limited mobility and range in the jaw, meaning that you could have difficulties opening and closing your mouth as well as performing basic tasks such as chewing, talking, and yawning. TMD could also lead to:

  • Excessive clenching of the jaw
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Clicking sounds in the sides of the mouth
  • Lockjaw
  • Involuntary muscle spasms

You’re likely to experience pain from TMJ disorders when attempting to eat hard foods or opening your mouth wide. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, try to limit these actions and seek out a physical therapist as soon as you can.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical therapy for TMJ can do a great number of things like help you regain your regular jaw movements, lessen the daily stress that it endures, and ease the overall pain in that area.

Steps in PT Recovery

During your first physical therapy session, your practitioner will ask you some questions to get a general idea of what’s going on with your body. Questions can include the intensity of your jaw pain, when you started experiencing pain, general eating habits, what jaw motions you’re capable of doing, and if you’ve already been treated for TMD.

After the small interview, your therapist will physically check the status of your jaw by testing your range of motion, examining your posture, identifying any palpitations around the jaw, and gauging your muscle strength.

Once your physical therapist gathers enough information, they’ll come up with a personalized goal and a plan to achieve the best results. A good practitioner will give you a detailed explanation of your jaw so you can understand the reason behind your particular plan and properly perform the exercises needed for a full recovery.

PT Practices

So, what kinds of exercises and practices would you be doing in your physical therapy sessions? Each person is different in terms of the severity of the condition, the body’s natural healing rate, and the amount of effort put into the journey. The amount of time it takes to recover is also affected by these factors. However, a few things you can expect include:

  • Manuals to relax the muscles and ease any pain
  • Mobilizations designed to restore range of motion
  • Posture correction to lessen stress on the jaw
  • At-home exercises to work your jaw

The Best Physical Therapist in Sarasota

If you’re having any issues with your jaw, let trained and seasoned professionals treat your TMJ back to normal. Impact Medical Sarasota is staffed with the best in the business to give you an optimal healing experience. Schedule your appointment today by calling (941) 222-1157.