Physical Therapy for TMD

Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage has been treating TMD (temporomandibular disorder also referred to as TMJ) for over 20 years with a great deal of success. The purpose of this article is to help the patient understand their symptoms and how we can help. Do you have symptoms including clicking of the jaw, locking of the jaw, clenching, or gtrinding behaviors? Do you have painful chewing, vertigo, dizziness, ear ringing, neck pain or headaches? If you do, you may have TMD.

Did you know there are four primary causes of TMD: displaced disc, arthralgia, muscle and hypermobility syndromes. Displaced discs can occur with or without reduction, (disc subluxing in or out of joint) and with or without limited opening. Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage can treat the disc dysfunction and help restore function and reduce symptoms to the jaw. Treatment includes joint mobilizations, trigger point treatment, exercise and modalities. Arthralgia can be treated by reducing the irritable joint through manual technique that can reduce joint loading and inflammation. Trigger point treatment and modalities are primarily used in treatment.

Muscle disorders that affect the jaw can come from the muscles of mastication as well as from the neck muscles. Headaches frequently come from muscle pain in the neck, head and jaw. TMD pain is seen mostly as a disorder of muscles. Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage will treat the muscle utilizing trigger point treatment, counter strain, myofascial manual treatment and movement impairment exercises. Modalities will also be used that will help restore the muscle to normal function.

Hypermobility syndromes are disorders with excessive joint and tissue mobility and are seen in TMJ/TMD disorders. Excessive movement can cause joint and muscle irritation. Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage will treat these symptoms through the use of manual treatment and modalities.

Parafunctional Behaviors There are also activities that people do every day that can bother the TMJ. Grinding their teeth, chewing nails, gum or ice and eating bagels are examples of daily activities people do that can lead to repetitive loading of the muscle and joint. Education of the TMD patient is at the forefront of Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage helping the patient manage their TMD.

Working With Your Dentist Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage can also work with your dentist to find what is the best oral appliance that works for you. Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage will coordinate treatment with your dentist involving medication recommendations, treatment options and techniques that can reduce your symptoms in a safe and effective way.

Why Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage If you have a symptom of jaw, neck or headache pain, take a moment to think about how physical therapy can help you. Contact us at Kulp Physical Therapy and Massage and talk with Doug or Janelle to help you diagnose and treat your symptom.