Have you recently noticed jaw pain, ringing in your ears or other strange symptoms that occur around your face or neck? If so, you may have a very common condition called temporomandibular joint disorder. This disorder impacts more than 10 million people in the United States alone. Unfortunately, many of those affected don’t understand what’s causing their symptoms, so they don’t know how to get the treatment they need for optimal relief.
If you are fairly certain you’re experiencing TMJ problems, it’s important to seek help. If you allow the problem to continue untreated, it could develop into a more serious condition like lockjaw. Here’s where to find the best physical therapy New Braunfels has to offer for TMJ patients.
What Is TMJ Physical Therapy
Before you seek physical therapy for your TMJ symptoms, it’s important to know what this type of physical therapy typically includes. The four most common physical therapy techniques for this condition include ultrasound, heat or ice therapy, exercises and stretches, and massage.
The physical therapy clinic you go to may use ultrasound to provide relief from TMJ symptoms. Ultrasound can deliver healing heat to the tissues and stimulate greater cellular mobility. Your therapist will know how to apply ultrasound therapy in the right amounts to deliver the desired results.
Heat and ice therapy are two more physical therapy options for TMJ issues and TMD. Heat can help loosen up tight muscles around the jaw while ice can reduce inflammation and associated pain. Your physical therapist may also give you instructions for applying heat and cold at home to minimize your symptoms.
Exercises and stretches show a lot of promise for relieving TMJ discomfort. These exercises and stretches are specifically intended to improve mobility of the jaw joint and correct the way you open and close your jaw to relieve unnecessary pressure on the jaw joints. Targeted stretches can further increase jaw mobility and decrease tension in the affected area.
Finally, your physical therapist may massage your jaw muscles, facial muscles, and the muscles in your shoulder and neck. The desired outcome of such massages is to further relax the muscles around the jaw and improve circulation to the area.
Things to Consider Before Calling a PT
Before scheduling “TMJ physical therapy near me,” there are a few things to consider. First, you should check with your insurance to see if it covers treatment for your condition. If it does, check to make sure you only visit providers that are accepted by your insurance plan. Finally, be ready to make changes as recommended by your PT. Such changes may include abstaining from particularly sticky or chewy foods for a while, avoiding chewing gum and performing daily exercises and stretches.
If you’re ready to make the changes necessary to reduce your TMJ symptoms, it’s time to reach out to a TMJ physical therapist near you. Look for a PT with good experience, positive reviews from current and previous patients, and good availability so you can finally get relief from your symptoms.