Physical Therapy for TMJ

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Currently, more than 10 million people in the United States are affected by TMJ, short for Temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction, or TMD. This is a condition that affects the jaw from performing it’s every day duties, such as opening, closing, and chewing. Interestingly enough, this is a condition that affects more women that men and is diagnosed on those in the age range of 20-40. TMJ can be caused by an injury, muscle spasm, or lockjaw. Physical Therapists in Port Isabel and Olmito are experts on how the human body moves and can help people with TMD regain normal jaw movement and ease their pain. 

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

The Temporomandibular Joint is a hinge joint that connect your jaw to your skull in front of your ears. The joint guides the jaws movement that allows you to talk, each, yawn, chew and so forth. There are a couple of common causes for TMJ:

  • Chronic Jaw Clenching - Clenching of the jaw commonly happens at night while sleeping. Although an unconscious behavior, often times these same people clench their teeth throughout the day as well. This type of behavior adds a great deal of stress and tension to the jaw, that ultimately gives in and causes TMJ. 
  • Problems with Teeth Alignment - Alignment of the teeth is not only to improve one physic, but it is also to alleviate the stress made to the jaw from performing every day jaw movement, such as talking and eating, on unusually positioned teeth.
  • Fracture - Accidents happen, if you suffer from one made to the head or face, chances are your Jaw was affected. Although you may have healed from your fracture, Physical Therapy might be needed to strengthen the joint and keep lingering pain at bay. 
  • Surgery - It is not unheard of to experience loss of TMJ function following surgery involving the face and jaw. Physical Therapy can help you recover from TMJ. 
  • Lockjaw (Trismus) - This is a condition that can be both the cause or a symptom of TMJ. It is a condition in which the jaw muscles spasm and you are unable to fully open your jaw. Radiation to the face/neck, trauma to the jaw, and tetanus can also be causes of Lockjaw. 
  • TMJ can be caused by arthritis in the joint. 

How is it Diagnosed?

If you have not confirmed TMJ with your medical provider, then your Physical Therapist can help determine if you have TMJ by conducting a thorough review of your jaw and neck area, go over your medical history and ask you to describe your pain so that they have a full picture of your body limitations. 

Finding Physical Therapy for TMJ

If you are dealing with TMJ, we strongly recommend you consider scheduling a consultation with our team. Our highly-trained physical therapists have experience in helping people overcome pain associated with TMJ so they can not only return to a pain-free life, but so they can achieve their desired lifestyle without being constantly preoccupied about when TMJ might pop up and suddenly impact any given situation. Contact us today if you have any questions about whether physical therapy might be the correct option to address your TMJ.

Olmito Office Hours

Monday
8:00am - 7:00pm


Tuesday
8:00am - 7:00pm


Wednesday
8:00am - 7:00pm


Thursday
8:00am - 7:00pm


Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Saturday
Closed

Port Isabel Office Hours

Monday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Tuesday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Wednesday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Saturday
Closed

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