Ease Jaw Pain with Physical Therapy
By Jannick Vielleuse, PT, Physical Therapist
Virtua Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
When people think about physical therapy, knees, ankles, and elbows usually come to mind. But some individuals require specialized treatment for the jaw, specifically the symptoms of TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction).
Although it varies from person to person, common causes of TMD include injuries to the teeth or jaw or teeth grinding. There’s evidence to suggest stress, poor posture and gum chewing can be culprits as well. I regularly meet with people who experience discomfort with basic jaw actions, such as chewing or yawning. Others suffer from chronic jaw clenching, locking in the jaw or headaches.
Virtua physical therapists use a blend of osteopathic techniques, global postural reeducation (GPR) and traditional methods to ease jaw pain, regain movement and reduce stress placed on the region.
In addition to working directly with clients, I offer personalized advice to help them between sessions. This includes plans for jaw exercises, relaxation techniques and foods to avoid.
When appropriate, I collaborate with a patient’s dentist or orthodontist to provide a comprehensive approach to care. In other cases, I team up with surgeons to assist the recovery process from oral surgery.
It's incredibly rewarding when our therapeutic approaches help restore normal jaw function and decrease pain for our patients. Oftentimes, they're amazed by the progress.
To consult with a Virtua physical therapist,
Updated April 27, 2017