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A physical therapist can develop a program for you that includes
learning and practicing techniques for regaining normal jaw movement.
The focus of physical therapy for
temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) is relaxation,
stretching, and releasing tight muscles and scar tissue. Physical therapy is an
especially important part of recovery from TM joint surgery, as it helps
minimize scar tissue formation and muscle tightness.
Physical therapy techniques may include:
After a physical therapy session, you should rest the jaw, try to
control habits that cause jaw pain, and avoid chewing foods that stress the
Physical therapy is important to the success of both surgical and
nonsurgical treatments for TMDs.1
Any therapy that involves physical movement of the jaw may make
joint problems worse. And this therapy must be done by an experienced professional.
Do not begin physical therapy and jaw exercises to improve jaw
range of motion until your doctor has determined what type of TM
joint problem you have and what jaw structures are affected.
Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.
Scrivani SJ, et al. (2008). Temporomandibular disorders. New England Journal of Medicine, 359(25): 2693–2705.
January 11, 2012
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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