The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) connects your jawbone to the upper temporal bones of the skull. Through the TMJ, the jaw can move up and down during speaking or eating. A traumatic blow directed to the TMJ may be a cause of TMD (temporomandibular disorder). Other causes are such as bad postures in which the head is placed awkwardly. Bruxism also known as chronic jaw clenching may lead to TMD. Bruxism may happen at night or when one is extremely stressed. Malocclusion of teeth forces the jaw out of its normal position. Arthritis, jaw displacement, surgery, and fractures can also cause any one of the variants of TMDs. Symptoms include jaw pain, limited movement of the jaw or gross anatomical anomalies on the face. Because of the proximity to the ear, the patient may experience ringing sensation in the ears.
Living with TMD requires one to put strategies in place to cope with the situation. Effective treatment entails ameliorating the symptoms and then going through rehabilitation. Physical therapists in Arlington, VA are trained to help patients deal with TMJ conditions. The patient’s history is reviewed followed by a thorough physical examination.
The physical therapy at Source Physical Therapy is inclusive of pain management, posture education, and jaw exercises. Sometimes successful treatment requires a referral to the dentist. However, physical therapy is essential in strengthening the muscles and relief of jaw limitations. The physical therapists at Source Physical Therapy are experienced in treating musculoskeletal problems.
Prevention of the condition can be achieved by maintaining proper sitting posture. Always ensure that you maintain your computer or documents directly facing you when you are required to spend much time working. Avoid harmful habits like chewing hard substances, widely opening the jaws or repetitive chewing of gum for a long duration. If possible, avoid prostrating since it forces the neck to rotate in one direction.