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.






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

How many hours are you looking down at your phone and scrolling? Is social media the cause of your neck pain (tech neck)? Did you know there is a direct correlation between hours of scrolling and neck, shoulder, and back pain? Add in sitting at your desk; it is a recipe for misery.





There is a good chance if you answered "yes" that social media could be the cause. The good news is that manual physical therapy can help. If you have "Tech Neck," this blog will provide solutions to the pain.





What is Tech Neck?













"Tech Neck" refers to a repetitive stress injury to the neck caused by having your head in a forward, looking down position for an extended period. The posture affects the curvature of the spine, the neck and shoulder muscles, and supporting ligaments. Here are a few symptoms that you may feel if you have Tech Neck:






  1. Sharp and nagging pain in the neck and shoulders




  2. Headaches and or eye pain




  3. Decreased range of motion due to tightness in your neck and shoulders




  4. Nerve pain or tingling and numbness in your upper limbs





“The more we look down, the more the muscles have to work to keep your head up. These muscles can get tired and sore from looking down at our smartphones, working on computers, or looking down at tablets all day."Health Matters.





If social media is the cause of your neck pain, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. The good news is that you do not need a referral prescription to visit a physical therapist if you live in Virginia. Contact The Therapy Network in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and book an appointment today.





Manual Physical Therapy Can Help





There are ways to prevent neck pain, such as taking long breaks from your smartphone and scrolling social media. If you are already experiencing pain or any of the symptoms above, it is time to take corrective action.





Manual physical therapy is a specialized therapy that fits the needs of those suffering from Tech Neck or back and shoulder pain.





Manual physical therapy is beneficial for various conditions, such as joint stiffness, muscle tightness, limited range of motion, and pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders. The hands-on techniques aim to reduce pain, improve joint mobility, enhance flexibility, and restore normal movement. If you are experiencing pain, numbness, and/or headaches, it is time to receive support from a professional physical therapist.





What are Manual Physical Therapy Techniques?





You may want to know more about manual physical therapy techniques if you suffer from neck, back, and shoulder pain. Here are the five methods most often used at The Therapy Network:






  1. Joint Mobilization: This technique involves skilled passive movements of a joint to improve its range of motion, reduce pain and restore normal joint mechanics.




  2. Soft Tissue Mobilization: This technique includes hands-on therapy such as massage, deep tissue mobilization, and myofascial release to address muscle tightness and trigger points.




  3. Muscle Energy Techniques: These techniques involve the active contraction of muscles against a resisted force to restore normal joint motion.




  4. Myofascial Release: This technique focuses on releasing tension and tightness in the connective tissue surrounding muscles. It promotes mobility while reducing pain.




  5. Manipulation: This technique involves a quick and controlled movement to restore a joint's normal function.





At The Therapy Network, you will meet with a specialist who uses various manual techniques to relieve neck, back, and shoulder pain. You can find a complete description of our manual physical therapy services on our website.





The Therapy Network in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk





If you live or work in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, there is a Therapy Network location is nearby. With TTN locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk, you are never far away from a convenient location. You can schedule an appointment today since you do not need a physician's referral or prescription to visit The Therapy Network. And chances are good that we can see you today too.





Is social media causing your neck pain? If you are suffering from Tech Neck or shoulder and back pain, it is time to take the first step to living pain-free. Call TTN or book an appointment online.