November is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD) Disorder Awareness month. This joint is known as the ‘hinge joint,’ located between the jaw and skull, this joint controls jaw movement. If you’re suffering from intense headaches, jaw tenderness or pain, facial or ear pain, and/or experiencing discomfort while chewing, you may be experiencing side effects from TMJD disorder.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), between 11 and 12 million adults in the U.S. experience some type of discomfort from TMJD disorder. Women between 35 and 44 years of age most commonly experience this condition. A combination of genes, stress, arthritis, poor posture and the psychological aspects of pain may cause the start of your symptoms.
TMJD disorder pain can be temporary or long-term, which can even last for multiple years. According to the National Library of Medicine, symptoms of TMJD disorder could include the following:
- Face or neck pain
- Jaw stiffness or discomfort
- Ear pain or ringing of the ear (tinnitus)
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing
- Jaw clicking, locking or popping
At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, our physical therapists specialize in the treatment of TMJD disorders. Focused on relieving your pain and improving the quality of movement of the affected joint, our physical therapists will teach you the following techniques to help relieve pain: relaxation, improving posture and stretching and releasing tight muscles and scar tissue.
We also help to educate our patients on the symptoms, causes and treatment options for TMJD disorders to keep you fully informed throughout the entire treatment process.
Our physical therapists will start with a comprehensive examination to find the root cause of your issue. They will then create a plan that will be customized to you and your lifestyle.
Our team can help you relieve pain, decrease muscle guarding, increase your postural awareness, and restore normal and pain-free joint movement. If you’ve been experiencing persistent discomfort, contact the FYZICAL clinic nearest you to start your journey back to Loving your Life!
By: Frank Dieckman, PT, MTC, CFC.