TMJ: is an abbreviation for the Temporomandibular Joint, the hinge joint more commonly known as the jaw. This joint, located slightly in front of each ear, is composed of the temporal bone, the mandible, and the disc. This sliding joint, capable of great flexibility, allows for the jaw to be moved by the facial muscles in a wide range of directions.—Dr. Kessler
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The adaptability of the TMJ to facilitate motion enables us to talk, chew, and swallow as we please. Problems occur when the ligaments holding the two bones of the TMJ are damaged, causing a dislocation of the cartilage disc in between. This dislocation can cause uneven movement of the lower jaw, and/or pain of the TMJ. Possible Causes:
Symptoms: TMJ clicking, TMJ locking, popping, headache, ear symptoms (ear pain, stuffiness, loss of hearing), teeth sensitivity, and change in bite. Symptoms vary from person to person; some have all the above symptoms, while some only have a few. In general, problems with the TMJ cause pain to the TMJ, ears, face, teeth, and head.
Treatment: A multidimensional approach to treating TMJ problems is required if one wants to feel immediate pain relief and ultimately to rectify the underlying problems causing the pain. At Spine and Sports, our physical therapists use a hands-on approach with manual therapy, by first evaluating the body's symmetry. Though TMJ pain manifests itself primarily in the orofacial region, misalignments throughout the rest of the body can aggravate the symptoms, or in some cases be the cause of it. With close examination, we locate any dysfunctional areas and work on restoring alignment, mobility, and balance. By reinstating equilibrium to the body, the delicate TMJ is more apt to align and stay in place. Additionally, we use deep muscle therapy, postural correction, phonophoresis (ultrasound), iontophoresis, heat and cold compresses, massage, and therapeutic exercises and stretches to ensure a restorative and permanent recovery.
If you suffer from TMJ or think you might, call us now to make an immediate appointment (212 986-3888). Delaying treatment can cause it to worsen. Our office is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, Madison Avenue and 40th Street. Most insurance covers TMJ.
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