TMJ VERSES TMD

As you may or may not know, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. These are the jaw joints. We all have two TMJ’s. One is on the left, one is on the right. They are just in front of the ear canals. When someone visits the clinic and says, “I have TMJ,” they probably mean to say they have TMD.

TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder. This is a general term for a variety of possible conditions that may include spasm of the jaw muscles, cracking and popping in the joint, displacement of the disk within the joint, inflammation of the joint, and more.

Physical therapists treat patients with TMD on a daily basis. We use techniques to decrease inflammation in and/or around the joint, help relax the muscles that close the jaw, stretch tight TMJ’s, and teach patients how to manage a TMJ that clicks or pops.

Here is some simple advice related to the TMJ’s:

  • Don’t chew gum, avoid tough foods such as bagels,
    dried meats, hard candy, and chewing your fingernails.
  • Limit yawning to no more than 2 finger widths.
  • Avoidance of clenching your teeth by keeping the teeth slightly apart and the jaw relaxed.
  • Don’t lean or sleep on your jaw.
  • So, if you or someone you know suffers from TMD, give us a call. We may be able to really help or refer you to a physician that specializes in this problem.

    AQUATIC EXERCISE

    Aquatic exercise is one of the best ways to take the load off those aching joints. Here are some fun facts: did you know that you weigh 50% less when you stand in waist deep water? Did you know you weigh 90% less when you are submerged in water up to your neck?

    If you have aching arthritic joints, do yourself a favor, and see us for an aquatic exercise program. It could be one of the best things you ever do for yourself.

    DOWNLOAD OF THE MONTH

    Keeping in line with the theme of this newsletter, here is a basic leg strengthening program that can be performed in a pool. You will need a noodle or some type of floatation device.

    Click here to Get this program:
    http://www.ptclinic.com/downloads/1-8.pdf

    As always, consult your physician or physical therapist before you start this or any other exercise program.