What is TMJ?
TMJ is the temporomandibular joint that hinges your jaw. Disorders of the jaw joint, muscles and nerves can be caused by inflammation, injury, and various disease processes of the joint. It presents by way of clicking, popping, difficulty chewing, migraines, mobility impairments and even ear pain, blurry vision, or shoulder pain. TMJ symptoms occur in 5-12% of the general population and are twice as prevalent in women.
How can TMJ symptoms be treated?
If you are wondering which type of doctor treats TMJ, it is important to note that you have options. Physical therapists, massage therapists, dentists, orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons are all trained to treat TMJ disorders. TMJ pain can refer to the neck, traps, and even your shoulders!
Some Common Treatments – Can TMJ be cured without surgery?
Often times, individuals suffering from TMJ are looking for alternative options for treatment prior to committing to surgery. Thankfully, there are nonsurgical treatment options for TMJ that may help you manage your symptoms.
For some, nightguards can be used to manage symptoms. For others, sensory motor control exercises for your jaw and neck can be helpful, as well as postural re-education (have you ever done postural re-education for other body parts with Dr. John??) Your PT or massage therapists can use soft tissue techniques like dry needling (which we offer at IP!), joint mobilization, and craniosacral therapy. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections are an emerging treatment as a regenerative technique for TMJ disorders. Did you know PRP is a service offered in our space? Dr. Abrahamson offers this treatment!
Platysma – Your platysma is a broad sheet of muscle that supports your jaw. It originates from your chest and shoulders and connects directly to your skin. This muscle helps you make funny faces and when sags, can lead to what is commonly known as “turkey neck”.
IP Exercise: Say “E”!
Dr. John’s “E!” Exercise is great for TMJ treatment – it works to activate the platysma. This jaw exercise is also beneficial for patients with cervical dysfunctions. Schedule today to learn more about how to move to your best self!