TMD is a condition of the jaw that is very painful. While surgical and medicinal treatments are available, there are also alternative options. Two alternatives for TMD treatment are physical therapy and chiropractic care. They also work well together, as you will see below.

Physical Therapy for TMD

Physical therapy focuses on your jaw joint's range of motion and function. This means that you are going to do a lot of jaw exercises to improve your TMD. While minor in intensity, stretching your temporomandibular joint can be painful if you have TMD. So be prepared for minor discomfort as you strengthen you jaw using some of these exercises:

  • Lower Jaw Movement: Start by shifting your lower jaw from side to side. Do this slowly and hold the position for a few seconds before moving your jaw to the other side. If necessary, use 2 fingers to help your jaw move.
  • Lower Jaw Resistance: Next, when you move your jaw to one side, use 2 fingers to resist the motion. Repeat going the other direction. This slight pressure strengthens the muscles in your jaw.
  • Forward-Back Motion: Practice shifting your lower jaw forwards, holding it for a few second, then relaxing it back into place.
  • Forward-Back Resistance: Follow the same steps as listed above, but use 2 fingers to add slight resistance and help strengthen the muscle.

Chiropractic Care for TMD

Chiropractic care is intended to manipulate the joints in your body so they function better. While a lot of people know that a professional chiropractic office, like Grand Chiropractic, can help with back pain, the don't realize that any joint can be improved upon with adjustments. It would be most beneficial following physical therapy, to relieve some of the tension and pain that might build up from exercising your jaw. Consider these ways chiropractic care focuses on TMD:

  • Relieves Neck Tension: Whether your TMD is mild or severe, you've probably noticed that your neck tenses up before and during a particularly bad episode. Chiropractic adjustments relieve tension in the neck, which also helps reduce headaches and dizziness.
  • Joint Manipulation: Chiropractors can also manipulate your jaw joint. A skilled chiropractor will help the joint sit more evenly together. As your joint balances out, so will your TMD symptoms.

Combining physical therapy with chiropractic care will improve your range of motion, strengthen the muscles around your joint, relieve pain, and reduce tension. While some of these exercises can be done at home, it's always wise to seek professional attention for your TMD. That way, progress can be measured, and your treatment plan can be personalized to suit your needs.