TMJ Dysfunction and Posture

TMJ or temporal mandibular joint dysfunction is also known as TMD. It is a complex condition that is usually characterized by a collection of symptoms, including pain and inflammation of the jaw, head pain, headaches, cervical pain, postural dysfunction (poor posture), ear symptoms, myofascial pain, trigger points, painful teeth, clicking or grinding noises in the jaw joints, improper bite mechanics, clenching of the mouth and jaw and restricted opening of the mouth. TMJ dysfunction can be of sudden onset due to injury, trauma or recent dental or oral surgery. It can also come about over many years of stress clenching, night grinding, and having an improper dental bite. At its worst, patients can suffer from intractable pain and dysfunction of the jaw muscles with an inability to chew properly.

Our founder Louis F. DiGiovine PT has been actively treating patients with TMJ for approximately 35 years. As a compliment to his treatment of cervical pain and postural dysfunction he began to study more about TMJ to provide a wider scope of treatment to his patients. He realized that he had many of the signs and symptoms of TMJ himself and eventually developed a sudden onset of acute TMJ pain. That is when he reluctantly became acquainted with TMJ dysfunction on a personal level. He sought out a Dentist with recognized expertise in the field for his own treatment. Over the next several years he attended seminars and training courses on the subject. He continued to develop TMJ as a clinical specialty and worked very closely with local Dentists in the management of TMJ dysfunction. Lou has combined his background of cervical, postural, TMJ, pain control, upper quarter dysfunction, and his own experiences into a comprehensive treatment protocol for patients suffering from TMJ dysfunction. He will work closely with your dental specialist to provide a cooperative plan of care. A typical treatment plan for TMJ dysfunction might include the following:

Initial evaluation Instruction in postural exercise for home Instruction in jaw exercises for home Manual therapy to cervical, jaw and facial muscles TM joint manual/mobilization techniques Spray and stretch techniques Ice/heat Ultrasound Pain control/TENS Lifestyle management program Management of orthotic appliance

If you are suffering from TMJ disfunction or pain and would like to talk to one of our therapists please call 908-234-9668.

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