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TMJ Disorder Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy for Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are painful conditions that affect the jaw. There are many different types of TMJ disorders, and the exact causes are unknown. Excessive tooth touching, orthodontic treatments, and poor nutrition appear to be contributing factors. TMJ disorders make it difficult to move the jaw, making everyday activities like chewing and swallowing more difficult.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Tenderness in the jaw
  • Pain around the ear
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Aching pain in the face
  • Difficulty opening the mouth

Some cases of TMJ disorder will go away on their own, but this is not common. For patients with persistent jaw pain, Allied Services Integrated Health System offers TMJ rehabilitation programs.

Noninvasive Treatment Options

TMJ rehabilitation involves jaw stretching and strengthening exercises. The specific course of the program will vary depending on the severity of the patient’s condition.

TMJ rehabilitation may involve the following:

  • Strengthening exercises – These exercises can help to relieve pain when it occurs. The physical therapist will instruct patients on safe and effective ways to strengthen the jaw during painful flare ups.
  • Relaxation exercises – For overworked jaws, it is important to give the muscles times to rest. Stress and anxiety can make inflammation worse. Taking deep breaths and sitting in a comfortable position can help.
  • Stretching exercises – These exercises can help to prevent pain and tension before they occur. It is important to learn the proper stretching procedures to avoid further injury.
  • Hot and cold therapy – Applying ice, heat, or a combination of both to a painful jaw can help reduce inflammation. Repeated sessions of 15 to 20 minutes are usually enough to obtain the desired results.
  • Oral splits/mouth guards – Wearing a mouth guard or other device that keeps the jaw still can help reduce inflammation.

Referrals & Insurance

Patients need a prescription from their doctor in order to enroll in the TMJ program. Insurance coverage for this program is provided by most health insurance policies.

Begin Your Recovery Journey Today

Getting physical therapy at our Rehab Centers is hassle-free. With Direct Access, you can begin without needing a referral, which means you won't have to go through the expense and inconvenience of seeing another physician for a referral.

To find a nearby Rehab Center, please refer to the Locations section or contact us at 570-348-1360 (Scranton) or 570-826-3900 (Wilkes-Barr).

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