Headache/TMJ Rehabilitation

TMJ stands for temperomandibular joint. TMJ symptoms present as pain, swelling, clicking, locking and limited mobility of the jaw. They are a result of disorders of the joint itself or the surrounding facial muscles that control jaw movement, chewing and speaking.

Generally, a multidisciplinary, conservative approach is taken to effectively treat TMJ. Only in the most severe cases should surgical options be considered, and then only when conservative treatments have failed. Dentists can offer the following options:

  • Splints
  • Bite plates
  • Orthodontics
  • Pain or anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy referral (New York State)

After a thorough initial evaluation, a detailed customized physical therapy program can be developed to address the patient’s individual needs. Treatments may include:

  • Soft tissue massage of cervical and facial muscles
  • Cervical and TMJ mobilizations
  • Modalities: ice, heat, ultrasound, electric stimulation, laser
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Education on posture and ergonomics
  • Instruction in a home exercise program