TMJ Specialist

Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation -  - Physical Therapy

Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

PHYSICAL THERAPY & REHABILITATION, LOCATED IN WASHINGTON, DC

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull, helping you talk and chew. Many people experience TMJ problems that may cause pain or locking of the joint. At their office in Downtown Washington, DC, the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation team specializes in treating TMJ, designing plans that ease pain and improve jaw mobility. For help managing your TMJ pain, call the office, or schedule an in-office or telehealth appointment online today.

TMJ Q&A

What is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?

The TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. You have two TMJs, one on each side of your head.

This type of joint is a sliding hinge joint, giving you the ability to open and close your mouth and slide your jaw from side to side when chewing.

What are TMJ disorders?

Inflammation of the muscles and ligaments that surround the jaw leads to TMJ disorder or dysfunction (TMD). The condition may be acute or chronic. 

More than 10 million people in the United States have TMD, and it is more common in people 20-40 years old.

With TMJ disorders, you may experience:

  • Jaw pain
  • Aching around your ear
  • Pain when chewing
  • Locking of the joint
  • Clicking sound or sensation in the joint

Researchers are still investigating what causes someone to develop TMD, but they theorize it may occur because of problems related to the disc of cartilage that separates the bones that make up the TMJ.

The cartilage may cause misalignment of the joint or wear away, leading to arthritis. An injury to the jaw may damage the cartilage, affecting structure and function.

How are TMJ disorders treated?

Treatment for TMJ disorders depends on the severity of your symptoms. In some cases, the condition may resolve on its own. However, if your pain persists, you may benefit from medication and physical therapy.

How can physical therapy help TMJ disorders?

Physical therapy is one of the primary treatments for people suffering from TMJ pain. The team at Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation specializes in designing personalized plans to ease your pain and to restore mobility.

Your physical therapy plan may include:

  • Jaw exercises to strengthen the supportive muscles
  • Therapeutic massage to reduce muscle tension
  • Heat therapy to improve circulation
  • Ice therapy to reduce inflammation
  • Posture training to improve jaw alignment
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy
  • Ultrasound therapy to reduce pain

You may also need physical therapy following any surgical procedure for your TMJ.

For help with your TMJ pain, call Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, or schedule an appointment online today.