Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a term that describes a group of disorders involving the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and their associated tissues.
The TMJs are commonly known as the jaw joints. There is one joint on each side of your head, just in front of your ear canals. Like other joint complexes in the body, the TMJs have:
- Muscles that control movement of the joints.
- Ligaments that hold the bones together.
- Cartilage that provides a smooth surface for the bones to move on.
- A disc between the bones that helps with proper bone alignment and movement.
- Elastic tissue that helps to hold the disc in place.
One or more of the above tissues can become irritated and cause symptoms in the area. Studies suggest that one third of the population experiences TMJ symptoms which may include pain with chewing, yawning, or jaw opening motions with women suffering TMJ problems more frequently than men.
There are a variety of temporomandibular disorders involving the muscles (myogenous) and/or joint(s) (arthrogenous) that may lead to pain and movement dysfunction. Since physical therapists treat muscle and joint issues, they are ideally suited to address TMD. Moreover, a majority of patients diagnosed with TMD have associated neck pain, which also responds well to physical therapy treatment. No other healthcare practitioner is better suited to address both TMD and neck pain issues.
The physical therapists at Foothills Orthopedic & Sport Therapy P.C. will provide you with a thorough evaluation allowing them to classify you as having one or more of the following:
- An inflammatory condition.
- Limited jaw range of motion.
- Excessive jaw range of motion.
- Arthrogenous Disc Displacement.
- Jaw muscle pain.
- Headaches related to neck pain (sometimes mistaken as TMD).
Our therapists will additionally work to insure:
- That you are properly educated about your condition.
- That your treatment is conservative and cost-effective, and that it addresses all components of your condition.
- That your treatment goals are realistic and patient focused.
We are following guidelines for safe treatment of patients with regard to COVID-19 so some intra-oral (within the mouth) evaluation and treatment procedures may be minimized or put on hold. Our therapists will wear single use gloves along with masks and eye protection when treating patients with TMD for the protection of our therapists and you the patient.Return to Services