Holistic Balance

{Holistic Balance}{363 Burwood Rd}{Hawthorn}{3122}{VIC}{Australia}{(039) 041-3232}
363 Burwood Rd 3122 Hawthorn, VIC
Phone: (039) 041-3232
Effective Treatment for Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome - HBM Myotherapy

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ Syndrome), also known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD), is a condition affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJ Syndrome is associated with pain, restricted jaw movement, and clicking or popping sounds in the jaw. The multifactorial nature of TMJ Syndrome makes its diagnosis and treatment challenging.

The development of TMJ Syndrome is attributed to various factors, including:

  1. Muscle Dysfunction: Overactivity or imbalance in the masticatory muscles can lead to pain and dysfunction in the TMJ.
  2. Joint Degeneration: Osteoarthritis or other degenerative joint diseases can affect the TMJ, leading to pain and limited movement.
  3. Trauma: Direct injury to the jaw or TMJ can result in acute or chronic TMJ Syndrome.
  4. Bruxism: Teeth grinding or clenching, often related to stress or anxiety, can cause excessive strain on the TMJ and surrounding muscles.
  5. Malocclusion: Misalignment of the teeth or bite can lead to abnormal stress on the TMJ, contributing to dysfunction.
  6. Psychosocial Factors: Stress, anxiety, and other psychological factors can exacerbate TMJ symptoms through increased muscle tension and altered pain perception.

 

TMJ Syndrome can affect individuals of all ages but is most commonly seen in adults aged 20-40 years. Specific demographics and risk factors include:

  1. Gender: Females are more likely to develop TMJ Syndrome than males, possibly due to hormonal influences and greater sensitivity to pain.
  2. Age: Young and middle-aged adults are more commonly affected, potentially due to higher stress levels and more frequent bruxism.
  3. Stress and Anxiety: Individuals experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety are at greater risk of developing TMJ Syndrome due to increased muscle tension and bruxism.
  4. Occupation and Lifestyle: Occupations and lifestyles involving high stress or repetitive jaw movements can predispose individuals to TMJ Syndrome.

 

 

Manual therapy is a critical component of TMJ Syndrome management, focusing on alleviating pain, improving jaw mobility, and addressing muscular imbalances. Key manual therapy interventions include:

  1. Dry Needling

Dry needling involves the insertion of fine needles into specific trigger points or areas of muscle tightness to promote pain relief and muscle relaxation. Benefits of dry needling for TMJ Syndrome include:

  • Reduction of Muscle Tightness: Targeting trigger points in the masticatory muscles, such as the masseter and temporalis, can alleviate muscle tightness and improve jaw function.
  • Pain Relief: By disrupting pain signals and promoting local blood flow, dry needling can effectively reduce jaw pain.
  • Improved Muscle Function: Enhancing muscle function around the TMJ can aid in stabilising the joint and reducing abnormal stress.
  1. Soft Tissue Mobilisation

Soft tissue mobilisation includes techniques such as massage and myofascial release to manipulate the soft tissues around the TMJ:

  • Massage Therapy: Techniques like deep tissue massage or trigger point therapy can reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and decrease pain, facilitating recovery of muscle function and flexibility.
  • Myofascial Release: Applying sustained pressure to myofascial restrictions can eliminate pain and restore motion, addressing tightness in the jaw and neck muscles.
  1. Joint Mobilisation

Joint mobilisation involves applying controlled forces to the TMJ to improve range of motion and alleviate pain:

  • TMJ Mobilisation: Techniques to mobilise the TMJ can enhance joint mobility, reduce stiffness, and correct abnormal joint mechanics.
  • Manual Traction: Applying gentle traction to the TMJ can reduce joint compression, alleviate pain, and improve joint space.
  1. Manual Stretching

Manual stretching techniques aim to improve flexibility and reduce tension in the muscles around the TMJ:

  • Jaw Stretching: Stretching the jaw muscles can relieve tension and improve range of motion.
  • Neck and Shoulder Stretching: Addressing tightness in the neck and shoulder muscles can reduce referred pain and improve overall posture, benefiting TMJ function.
  1. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

PNF stretching combines stretching and contracting targeted muscle groups to enhance flexibility and strength:

  • PNF Techniques: Effective for improving the flexibility and strength of the jaw and neck muscles, promoting better joint mechanics and reducing pain.

Listed below are some details of a client dealing with TMJ syndrome who is seeking treatment here at HBM, which may also serve as a case study:

 

Age: 50+

Gender: F

Symptoms: Left TMJ pain

Medical history: None pertinent

Lifestyle: Seated for work mostly. Does Kieser 3x/week as exercise and does a bit of jogging.

The client has been receiving fortnightly treatments here at HBM over a period of 3 months to manage her symptoms, and even after the first treatment has had great improvement in mobility and pain. Educating her on the importance of compliance to treatment due to her active schedule has made a big difference on her quality of life, and after educating her on the possible cause (after numerous questioning and orthopaedic testing) and with some take home exercises and stretches, she’s been able to get back to her daily activities with much improvements on symptoms.

If you or someone you know are dealing with TMJ syndrome, musculoskeletal pain, or even myofascial trigger points, book in an appointment to see us now for an initial consultation so we can assess your condition and come up with an appropriate and tailored treatment plan to manage your pain.  Simply click this booking link for the myotherapy initial consultation with our experienced myotherapists.

 

 

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