TMJ Jaw Problems and Physical Therapy Solutions

TMJ Jaw Problems and Physical Therapy Solutions Blog
Around one out of every nine U.S. citizens suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders. This medical problem can produce pain when you chew food or yawn. It often creates bothersome clicking noises. Many individuals find that it also results in jaw stiffness.

  • Chewing is painful
  • Yawning may also hurt
  • Jaw pops or clicks

Americans frequently visit doctors or dentists who fail to treat their TMJ disorders. They give up after paying considerable sums to various physicians. On the other hand, numerous people forgo treatment and suffer with the symptoms for many years.

Why it Happens

You can solve this problem more easily if you understand why TMJ disorders occur. The human head contains two temporomandibular joints. They connect the skull to both sides of the jaw. A narrow disc separates these two bones. It shifts every time you open your mouth.

This disc occasionally becomes stuck in place and forces a person’s mouth to stay open. If this happens to your jaw, you’ll probably need to see a physician before you can resume eating normally.

It’s more probable that this disc will gradually loosen. Consequently, it moves around excessively as you yawn, eat or chew gum. This causes the joint to click loudly and repeatedly. Both crunchy and thick, chewy foods can exacerbate this embarrassing condition.

Discomfort frequently originates in the mouth’s muscles. If you use them excessively or the temporomandibular joint becomes misaligned, pain can result. Stress often contributes to muscle strains in this area. The discomfort may also increase if you eat multiple crunchy foods during the same week.

  • Muscles or joints can cause pain
  • Stress and diet affect its severity
  • TMJ problems may lead to arthritis

Like all joints, the TMJ can suffer from arthritis. This type of inflammation might materialize as the result of an injury. Arthritis could also develop after this joint moves in an irregular way for multiple years. It produces substantial discomfort and frequent clicking noises.

A Better Solution

People often fail to consider physical therapy when they suffer from TMJ disorders. This treatment can help mouth joints and muscles begin to function and work together as they did in the past. It has the potential to alleviate many different symptoms.

  • Low-risk, not invasive
  • Combines multiple strategies
  • Effective and affordable

Physical therapists customize their treatments to suit each person’s specific TMJ problems. Electrical or ultrasonic stimulation frequently reduces muscle tension and discomfort. These professionals also minimize pain by massaging certain parts of the jaw.

Minor variations in the thickness or consistency of foods can make a big difference for people with TMJ disorders. A physical therapist might provide personalized advice on short-term diet adjustments. If you reduce muscle and joint stress as much as possible, the symptoms may subside.

Basically, physical therapy both relieves pain and addresses the root causes of a TMJ disorder. It allows patients to avoid risky and expensive operations. Be sure to consider this solution if you want to banish jaw discomfort or obnoxious clicking sounds.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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