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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
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Physiotherapy for TMJ - What should I ask for?

My ears have been feeling stuffed, and my lymph nodes behind the ears get swollen. I am also experiencing pain in my jaw and ear area, and constant ringing/buzzing in my ear. Also, my massetar muscles have been in spasm for the last three weeks.

I have an appointment with a physiotherapist next week who "specializes" in TMJ physiotherapy, and I was wondering what I should ask for? It will be my first appointment with her. I know nothing about TMJ physiotherepy and for those that have gone through it, any advice would be helpful

Thank you!

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: Physiotherapy for TMJ - What should I ask for?

I think the first visit should be more of an examination of your jaw and neck so the physio can get an idea of what going on and also your pain threshold. A physio can work on the outside of your jaw and face as well as intraorally - inside your mouth. There are different techniques used depending on what is going on and what they are trying to accomplish. I had one therapist use ultrasound on the joint to reduce inflammation, but was subsequently told by another therapist that ultrasound shouldn't be used above the neck. I don't which is true.

I've had accupuncture which has helped relax my jaw muscles and may help in treating inflammation. I also had IMS - this is similar to accupuncture - what they do is insert a very fine needle into the muscle knot and the act of insertion releases the knot - its painful but the relief is immediate. Ask her if she is trained in this.

Go slowly. Phsyio shouldn't hurt. Feeling a little sore is one thing - but you shouldn't be in any real pain and if you are stop treatment. You should also determine if your jaw is inflammed because if it is physio may be too painful. You can tell if your jaw is inflammed by trying heat and cold packs -if heat makes the pain worse and cold provides relief, your jaw probably has inflammation. If this is the case talk to your dentist about a presription anti-inflammatory like celebrex or arthotek.

Good luck and hope you feel better.

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: Physiotherapy for TMJ - What should I ask for?

I have had two different PTs who deal with TMJ. One was strictly tmj, and she did a a lot of work on my jaw even though I had no pain there. In hindsight probably was a bad idea as my issues are skeletal and I have displaced discs and condyles. My current PT does myofacial release focusing on neck and shoulders and I always leave there with much relief and just overall feeling great. I have had the dry needling done by another PT (not tmj related). It does work in some cases. For my neck, I prefer the myofacial release. It accomplishes the same thing, but not as invasive.

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:03 PM   #4
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Re: Physiotherapy for TMJ - What should I ask for?

Hi Everyone -

Just a quick update I had my first physiotherapy session with a TMJ PT today and it was...interesting. It didn't hurt, but I do feel sore. The funny thing is that it didn't even really feel like she did anything. She just gently massaged some of my muscles on my neck (she said that they were off balance), to bring them back into balance, and then worked on my temples. Then she gave me this electric stimulation on my jaw nerves to bring down the inflammation. The funny thing is that even though it didn't feel like a lot, I feel sore in my jaws!

The ringing in my ears is still there, and she said that the electro-shock or whatever it is, should help alleviate that. I am really hoping so because it's driving me nuts!

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