About 5%-12% of Americans suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD. This condition is often mistakenly dubbed "TMJ", which is actually the name of the joint involved—the temporomandibular joint. Among the various treatments available, many wonder: Can physical therapy help TMJ pain? The answer is a resounding yes, and this guide dives deep into how and why.





Understanding TMJ: Causes and Symptoms





The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) plays a pivotal role in our oral functions. When it's disrupted, TMD occurs, leading to symptoms like jaw pain, limited mouth movement, and even odd sounds during jaw motion. It's essential to differentiate between TMJ, the joint itself, and TMD, the disorder affecting this joint.









TMD can arise from various factors, from genetics to daily stress, with women being more prone than men. While some theories link TMD to orthodontics, present research from Johns Hopkins Medicine doesn't fully support this. TMJ sounds without pain are normal; however, consistent pain or difficulty moving the jaw might indicate TMD.





And for those seeking relief, physical therapy emerges as a beacon of hope. A study published in the National Library of Medicine shows that it not only addresses TMD symptoms but also dives deep into its root causes, offering long-term solutions.





Is Social Media Aggravating TMJ Pain?





three people on bench looking down at cell phone with tech neck




Modern tech habits, especially the infamous "text neck syndrome" from excessive smartphone usage, can indirectly cause TMJ pain. Recognizing and rectifying these habits is crucial to prevent the condition from worsening. As an article from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aptly puts it, "By reducing problematic smartphone use, TMD risk might be avoided."





(Learn more about how technology can cause pain!)





Can Physical Therapy Help TMJ Pain?





Absolutely. Physical therapy provides a comprehensive approach to managing TMJ pain. A research article on the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Journal encompasses education, hands-on treatments, and exercises that affirm this claim. Specialists in TMD employ techniques like soft tissue mobilization, manual therapy, and even trigger point dry needling. Alongside these treatments, patients are educated on posture, ergonomics, and more to prevent TMD recurrence. The overwhelming consensus is clear: Physical therapy helps TMJ pain remarkably.





Choosing The Therapy Network for TMJ Treatment





The Therapy Network stands out in TMJ treatment, emphasizing not just the jaw but also surrounding muscles, posture, and more. Regularly hosting TMJ and Facial Pain Clinics across various locations, they ensure each patient receives individualized care.









Reasons to opt for The Therapy Network include:






  1. Accessibility: Immediate appointments and multiple locations make starting treatment effortless.




  2. Expertise: A team of specialized physical therapists guarantees top-tier care.




  3. Affordability: With insurance acceptability and varied payment options, treatment remains within reach.




  4. Seamless Journey: From consultation to post-therapy, experience a smooth transition.





To conclude, if you're asking, "Can physical therapy help TMJ pain?" the evidence from Choose PT and success stories suggest a definitive yes. The Therapy Network is poised to assist anyone facing TMJ challenges, offering expertise and guidance for effective recovery.








If you’re looking for a way to relieve muscle pain and improve overall performance, you might consider physical therapy dry needling. This treatment method is becoming increasingly popular among physical therapists as an effective way to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, from neck and shoulder pain to tennis elbow. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of physical therapy dry needling and how it can help you.


Technique





is a technique used to treat muscle pain and improve performance. It involves inserting tiny, thin needles into trigger points, or areas of muscle tension, to stimulate and release muscle tension. This can help improve range of motion, reduce pain, and improve overall mobility.


Types of Needles





The needles used in physical therapy dry needling are typically sterile, disposable needles that are inserted into the skin. The needles are inserted to a depth that is specific to the patient’s condition, and the area is then manipulated to stimulate the muscles. This can help to relieve pain and improve range of motion.


Treatment





The dry needling treatment is typically done in a series of sessions that last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. During each session, the physical therapist will assess the patient’s condition and response to the treatment before moving forward. The number of sessions depends on the individual patient and the condition being treated.


Benefits 





Physical therapy dry needling can be beneficial for a variety of conditions and injuries, such as tmj/tmd, neck and shoulder pain, tennis elbow, low back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also help improve athletic performance by releasing tension in tight muscles and increasing range of motion. If you’re looking for a way to reduce muscle pain and improve performance, physical therapy dry needling may be an option for you. Talk to your physical therapist to find out if this treatment is right for you.