26 Oct Physiotherapy for Temporomandibular Disorder
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw with the temporal bone of the skull. The joint helps us to move our jaw up and down and side to side when we talk, chew yawn, and do other similar movements. Any problem with this joint is known as temporomandibular disorder.
The cause of this disorder is still unknown although, the dentists believe that the symptoms might arise from problems in the jaw muscles and the joint itself. The pain may be because of a combination of factors like jaw injury, arthritis, or genetics.
Disorder of this joint and muscles around it may cause:
- Pain that travels through the face, jaw, or neck
- Stiff jaw muscles
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Dull facial ache
- Pain in the temple area
- Nerve inflammation
- Ear pain because of Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Popping sound in ears
- Headaches including migraine
- Sometimes dislocation of temporomandibular joint
Although mild TM disorder can be managed by remedies provided at home, like an ice packs on the affected joint and painkillers, the severe kind needs special attention. Medical treatment for this disorder could be dental splints, prescription medication, botox injection, physiotherapy, and in very severe cases, surgery.
The risks factors of TM Disorder
- Poor posture in the neck and upper back muscles may lead to neck strain and abnormalities of jaw muscle function.
- Stress may increase muscle tension and jaw clenching.
- Women between the age of 18-44 have an increased risk.
- Patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis have an increased risk
- People who have a genetic predisposition to pain sensitivity and increased stress responses may be more susceptible.
Physiotherapy for Temporomandibular Disorder
Medical attention is needed when pain in the jaw becomes unbearable and persistent for a long period of time.
Physiotherapy for Temporomandibular Disorder with jaw exercises can strengthen muscles, improves flexibility and improves range of motion. The aim of the physiotherapy is:
- To reduce pain
- To minimize stiffness
- To restore function
Physiotherapy for Temporomandibular Disorder should only be done by an expert physiotherapist. They can teach you relaxation techniques, stress management, and reduction.
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