Can physical therapy help treat TMJ pain?

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Most people look to dentists to help them treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. However, you can also find treatment for this type of pain from a physical therapy specialist. 

How likely are you to need physical therapy for jaw pain? Medical research reveals that up to 12% of people suffer from TMJ issues. There are specific techniques that physical therapists can use to help reduce your TMJ pain. Here are two techniques that are commonly used for this purpose: 

  1. Therapeutic exercises — A commonly used physical therapy method for TMJ pain is therapeutic exercises. The exercises your physical therapist teaches you can focus on several different goals. They may be used to increase the strength of your jaw muscles. 

Other exercises may focus on stretching overly tense jaw muscles. Still others could work to decrease tension in neck muscles that could be increasing your jaw pain. A study on therapeutic exercises reveals that they helped improve pain-free jaw opening by nearly seven degrees on average.

  1. Manual therapy — This is a broad category of physical therapy. A technique falls into the manual therapy category if a physical therapist uses their hands to perform it. Typically, manual therapy methods focus on mobilizing soft tissue and joints. 

A survey of therapy methods used for TMJ pain reveals that manual therapy significantly decreased pain in as little as four weeks. The same survey also reports that using manual therapy on the neck helped decrease jaw pain by nearly 29 points. 

Find help with your TMJ pain at Armor Physical Therapy

Are you ready to find effective physical therapy for your TMJ pain? Our team of physical therapists at Armor Physical Therapy is ready to help you find the therapeutic care you need. We offer free screenings that can pinpoint the specific cause of your jaw pain. Additionally, our physical therapists are adept at creating personalized therapy plans designed to offer benefits like: 

  • Reducing face, jaw and neck pain.
  • Decreasing the frequency of jaw pain-related headaches. 
  • Improving TMJ range of motion.
  • Increasing your ability to chew and do other normal jaw-related activities. 

Want to get help with your jaw pain from home? We can help you with that, too! Our team offers virtual therapy where you work with your physical therapist over a secure video link. Our therapists can also meet with you in a one-on-one at-home care appointment in your home. Even better, you can start getting our help without first getting a referral from your doctor or dentist. 

Contact us today for more information about how we can treat jaw pain or to schedule an initial appointment. 

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