What are the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ)
The Temporomandibular joints are ball and socket joints with a disc positioned in between. They are located on either side of your head, directly in front of your ears. These joints work simultaneously enabling you to speak, bite, chew, yawn, breathe, swallow, sing, yell and express yourself sexually.
The jaw opens and closes, and moves side to side, front and back. These motions are controlled primarily by 4 powerful muscles of mastication: masseter, temporalis, medial, and lateral pterygoid. The disc acts as a cushion and is held in place by a ligament
What is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Temporomandibular Disorders represent one category of Jaw and Facial Pain and dysfunction. We divide the Temporomandibular Disorders into muscular and joint-type disorders. It's common for someone to present with both issues.
Muscle type Temporomandibular Disorders are:
- Muscle spasm
- Myofascial restrictions and Trigger Points
- Muscle inflammation
Joint type Temporomandibular Disorders are:
- Joint inflammation (Capsulitis/Synovitis/Retro-discitis)
- Intermittent Disc Displacement: jaw joint clicking or popping
- Disc Displacement: jaw locking closed or open
H&D Physical therapy provides treatment to patients with all the above concerns. We are experts in helping restore function and decrease pain caused by TMJ Dysfunction.
Sometimes surgery is recommended for certain TMJ dysfunction. These procedures can include orthognathic surgery, arthrocentesis, and joint replacement. Post-operatively you may experience swelling, pain, inability to open the jaw, difficulty chewing, and/or difficulty speaking. Our team of physical therapists is uniquely qualified to address the symptoms frequently seen after surgery. We will guide you during your recovery and carefully facilitate the best outcome.
What Can I Expect from Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy goals and expectations are different for every person that walks through our door. H&D Physical Therapy specializes in devising a treatment plan and goals that address all of your concerns, whether it be the ability to wake up without pain from clenching, or the ability to eat your favorite meal at a restaurant. Our treatments help New Yorkers discover reliable methods for easing their pain levels and educating them towards self-management. We can help with:
- Swelling reduction
- Pain relief
- Increasing jaw range of motion needed for speaking, yawning, singing, sexual expression and dental work.
- Regaining essential strength, stability and control of the facial, jaw and neck muscles
- Restoring normal jaw functions, such as biting and chewing
- Decreasing jaw tension, daytime clenching and bruxing
- Improving posture
- Optimize positioning for sleeping and leisure