TMJ TREATMENT/ OROFACIAL PAIN/ CRANEOMANDIBULAR DYSFUNCTION
Orofacial or temporomandibular joint pain is very characteristic but manifests itself in many different ways: bruxism (clenching or grinding of teeth), clicking in the jaw when chewing or yawning, blocking of the jaw when the mouth is opened, a sensation of tired muscles in the area, constant pain that migrates to the neck or head, etc. It can become a very incapacitating and long-lasting injury.
This physiopathology may involve many structures: jaw, skull, neck and, in most cases, pelvis as well.
Causes in many cases are multiple: bad occlusion of teeth (they do not fit together well), stress, a previous neck injury… and therefore treatment must focus on working on all its causes, in a multidisciplinary way: orthodontics, psychology, orthopedics, etc.
From a physical therapy perspective, it is also difficult to treat since not all cases should be dealt with in the same way. It is fundamental for the physical therapist to diagnose where and how the imbalance started because TMJ is a very dynamic joint that can respond to an obstruction in the neck or, in many instances, to one in the pelvis, which causes a response in the other structures leading up to the jaw.
If this diagnosis is accurate, treatment will be successful, not only in terms of the pain, but also for a long-lasting improvement with no relapses.
In addition to being an excellent treatment for pain and dysfunctions in the jaw area, the results of TMJ treatment, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, are incredible. TMJ treatment gives the affected tissues great ductility, helping to reduce the time needed to correct the teeth.
A patient’s description of his or her pain during an interview reveals practically all the information about the injury. THE KEY: It is finding out the why of the injury, the cause, what the chain is that has led to the injury.
A patient’s description of his or her pain during an interview reveals practically all the information about the injury.
THE KEY: It is finding out the why of the injury, the cause, what the chain is that has led to the injury.