TMJ DISORDERS

Relieving pain and headaches, one jaw at a time

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is where your lower jaw (the mandible) articulates with your skull (the temporal bone). It is located just in front of your ear. You have two TMJ joints, one on each side of the face. They work together in sync to allow you to open and close your mouth for eating, talking, yawning and mouth breathing.

While the TMJ can endure more than 250lbs of joint loading, it is highly susceptible to dysfunction. In fact, up to 12% (38 million) of the general population experience TMJ symptoms. This ranks second only to low back pain, as the most prevalent musculoskeletal problem in the United States — with the peak prevalence among people between 35 to 45 years old.

 

What happens when your TMJ gets in the way of enjoying life?

  • Jaw and facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Ear ache or pressure
  • Tooth ache
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Difficulty/inability to talk

While these symptoms are common, they are not normal and could be a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). A condition involving the TMJ joint and the masticatory muscles around it.

If this sounds like you, click here to find a location to get help now.

TMJ Disorder (TMJD)

TMJ Anatomy

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Mastication muscles attach to the jaw to allow the joint to open, close, and move forward, back and side to side. These movements start the digestion process, as they allow you to manipulate, chomp and shred your food.

Many physical events (injury, dental work, poor posture, bruxism, etc.) can disrupt how your TMJ works. Although the muscles surrounding it are very strong, the repetitive abnormal stress on the joint can lead to pain and damage. There is also a disc that separates the top and bottom of the joint, called the temporomandibular joint disc. The TMJ disc moves as your jaw moves, but it can sometimes shift too far and cause your jaw to click and pop, to lock open, or to limit mouth opening.

Eventually, due to the proximity of the TMJ joint to your ear and neck, the condition can often spread out to other areas, such as the muscles that regulate your inner ear, the muscles that help you swallow, and the muscles that move and support your head. It can even hinder your brain’s capacity to switch on the right muscles, at the right time, and with the right amount of strength. Known as neuromuscular deactivation, this process tends to pull you out of balance and into a vicious cycle of pain, weakness, and dysfunction.

 

TMJ PHYSICAL THERAPY

How can Activcore help?

You’re never just a number at Activcore. You will have your own dedicated TMJD physical therapist (not an aide) by your side throughout every session. A specially trained physical therapist who will treat you as a whole person, optimizing how your mind and muscles work together so that you can regain control of your body.

  • Resolve jaw pain and facial pain
  • Reduce headaches and neck stiffness
  • Reduce dizziness and ringing in ears
  • Regain normal joint range of motion
  • Build muscle strength and postural control
  • Restore jaw function for eating/chewing/talking

In a private office setting, your physical therapist will perform a comprehensive physical exam and movement screen to help determine the underlying root cause of your TMJ condition. Together, you and your provider will then develop and commit to a plan of care tailored to your individual needs, lifestyle and goals.

You will feel the Activcore difference from your first visit. A highly personalized experience applying the latest breakthrough techniques in TMJ rehabilitation, such as neuromuscular activation, postural muscle retraining, trigger point dry needling, intraoral manual therapy (myofascial release), and Pilates apparatus exercise. You will also receive a home exercise program customized just for you.

Neuromuscular Activation is like flipping on a light switch to muscles that have gone dim due to injury, pain and inactivity. Utilizing the Redcord suspension system, your provider will take you through exercises that demand total body awareness and precise muscle control. There are slings and bungee cords to assist you with each movement. Similar to floating in water, this creates a weightless and painless environment where you can safely develop strength, stability and optimal neuromuscular control, regardless of your age or physical condition.

 

SWIPE TO SEE MORE METHODS >>

 

 

Neuromuscular Activation

Postural Muscle Retraining consists of specialized stabilization exercises, breathing techniques, and verbal and tactile cues to help you strengthen and regain control of your pelvis, hips and core — and up to your shoulders and neck. An emphasis is placed on restoring mobility and stability of your thoracic spine, a common area of tightness and dysfunction due to prolonged sitting and computer work. Through regular practice of the exercises, you will feel more support and postural control all the way up the muscle chains to your jaw.

Postural Muscle Retraining

Trigger Point Dry Needling (TPDN) involves placing a very thin needle into muscles at their trigger point. This is an area where the muscle is tight and often tender. The intent is to contract and then release the muscle, improving overall flexibility and decreasing pain. TPDN can be a valuable treatment for enhancing neuromuscular performance by modulating myofascial pain and spasms, and preparing the body for exercise and activity.

Dry Needling

Manual Therapy is skilled hands-on movements and manipulations of your joints and soft tissues intended to release myofascial trigger points, modulate pain, induce relaxation, improve range of motion, and reduce swelling and inflammation. Oftentimes, manual therapy can help prepare your body for more active interventions like exercise and strength training. Some examples of manual therapy include:

 

  •  Myofascial release

  •  Joint mobilizations

  •  Spinal manipulations

  •  Manual traction

  •  Stretch therapy

  •  Craniosacral therapy

  •  Lymphatic drainage massage

Manual Therapy

Pilates can help optimize your performance through exercises that support the natural curves of your spine while balancing muscular strength with flexibility. Activcore offers Pilates private sessions, semi-private sessions, and small group classes. Our performance specialists are all trained and certified in Pilates and thoroughly engaged in your success. Depending on your needs, we may implement the following Pilates apparatus:

 

  •  Reformer

  •  Trapeze

  •  Barrel

  •  Tower

  •  Wundachair

Pilates Apparatus

Neuromuscular Activation

Neuromuscular Activation is like flipping on a light switch to muscles that have gone dim due to injury, pain and inactivity. Utilizing the Redcord suspension system, your provider will take you through exercises that demand total body awareness and precise muscle control. There are slings and bungee cords to assist you with each movement. Similar to floating in water, this creates a weightless and painless environment where you can safely develop strength, stability and optimal neuromuscular control, regardless of your age or physical condition.

 

SWIPE TO SEE MORE METHODS >>

 

 

Postural Muscle Retraining

Postural Muscle Retraining consists of specialized stabilization exercises, breathing techniques, and verbal and tactile cues to help you strengthen and regain control of your pelvis, hips and core — and up to your shoulders and neck. An emphasis is placed on restoring mobility and stability of your thoracic spine, a common area of tightness and dysfunction due to prolonged sitting and computer work. Through regular practice of the exercises, you will feel more support and postural control all the way up the muscle chains to your jaw.

Dry Needling

Trigger Point Dry Needling (TPDN) involves placing a very thin needle into muscles at their trigger point. This is an area where the muscle is tight and often tender. The intent is to contract and then release the muscle, improving overall flexibility and decreasing pain. TPDN can be a valuable treatment for enhancing neuromuscular performance by modulating myofascial pain and spasms, and preparing the body for exercise and activity.

Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy is skilled hands-on movements and manipulations of your joints and soft tissues intended to release myofascial trigger points, modulate pain, induce relaxation, improve range of motion, and reduce swelling and inflammation. Oftentimes, manual therapy can help prepare your body for more active interventions like exercise and strength training. Some examples of manual therapy include:

 

  •  Myofascial release

  •  Joint mobilizations

  •  Spinal manipulations

  •  Manual traction

  •  Stretch therapy

  •  Craniosacral therapy

  •  Lymphatic drainage massage

Pilates Apparatus

Pilates can help optimize your performance through exercises that support the natural curves of your spine while balancing muscular strength with flexibility. Activcore offers Pilates private sessions, semi-private sessions, and small group classes. Our performance specialists are all trained and certified in Pilates and thoroughly engaged in your success. Depending on your needs, we may implement the following Pilates apparatus:

 

  •  Reformer

  •  Trapeze

  •  Barrel

  •  Tower

  •  Wundachair

COMMON CONDITIONS

  • Arthralgia
  • Cervical spine dysfunction
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Ear ache and pressure
  • Fracture
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction
  • Headache syndromes
  • Migraines
  • Myalgia
  • Myofascial pain
  • Postural dysfunction
  • Subluxation or dislocation
  • Tinnitus / ringing in ears
  • TMJ disc displacement
  • TMJ disorders (TMJ/TMJD/TMD)
  • Vertigo / dizziness

 

TMJ Signs and Symptoms

5 stars

“I was referred to Activcore by my Dentist for TMJ disorder. He referred me to Activcore because they specialize in TMJ and vestibular interventions, along with their skills with overall orthopedic care. I initially presented with jaw clicking while eating, jaw pain, severe headaches, and episodes of vertigo. Through an initial interview and evaluation, they quickly and correctly determined that certain muscles in my neck were very tight, while others were under-utilized from some postural issues. They massaged my facial and neck muscles, and had me do some exercises on the Redcord suspension system. It took just one session to start relieving the jaw pain and headaches. After subsequent treatments, the clicking in my jaw was gone, and my posture felt stronger. My therapist expanded to the muscles of my upper and mid back that were compensating for my spinal curvature. They motivated me to do my best. If I didn’t understand a certain exercise, they broke it down for me, modeling the movement and reinforcing my efforts.

I could not have been happier with my experience at Activcore. The therapists bring energy and fun to the healing process. Their enthusiasm is contagious. I am now pain-free. I have better posture, and I have more awareness of my muscles. I highly recommend Activcore to anyone in need of physical therapy for TMJ disorders.” — Nancy

 

 

5 stars

“Activcore is unlike anything I have ever experienced. One patient, one provider, one hour – one at a time, every time. If you’re serious about your physical therapy and recovery, this is the only place to go!” — Michael
 
 
 
 
5 stars
"Having suffered from severe Myofascial Pain Syndrome since 2002, I have tried every modality of treatment you could name. Most of them giving a moderate to short term relief. I decided to try a new form of therapy called Redcord. I was amazed at not only the level of knowledge about how and why Redcord works, but the results I got from a few sessions were overwhelming. I experienced immediate results, and knew with continued care, they would be life changing." — Nate

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