What is TMJ?



What is TMJ?

TMJ Physical Therapy

Located in Manhattan's Union Square, NYC

Are you dealing with jaw pain? Do you suffer from mind numbing headaches that profoundly impact the quality of your life? Do you want the best possible TMJ treatment? At James Fowler Physical Therapy, our therapists have advanced education and specialized training in TMJ pain treatment, as well as other causes of headaches and migraines. 

At JFPT, we feel any patient suffering from Temporomandibular Disorders owe it to themselves to pursue the most conservative, yet comprehensive, means of treatment for their condition. Through a collaborative approach between Physical Therapy, your Dentist, Oral-Facial Pain Specialist, Oral Surgeon, ENT, MD, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, etc., we will achieve the greatest success and relief of your symptoms. Our physical therapists effective communication with other medical practitioners ensures that our patients' care is tailored to each individual and sets it apart from others.

With the right therapy your symptoms, associated with this painful disorder, can be relieved.  Our individualized treatment plans focus on the root cause of your dysfunction, to complement our commitment to a hands-on approach to healing. 

We offer a concierge service where you will be seen in private treatment rooms by a highly experienced Physical Therapist, who fully understands and knows how to treat your particular condition. We see one patient at a time and each treatment session lasts about 45 minutes for you to get the attention you deserve. 

                    What to Expect from TMJ/TMD                         Physical Therapy 

Symptoms

  • Clicking when you open or close your mouth 
  • Difficulty and/or pain with chewing
  • Bruxism (grinding your teeth) at night
  • Locking of your jaw, open or closed
  • Headache over your forehead, eyes or back of the head 
  • Sharp or dull joint pain just in front of your ear
  • Neck pain or stiffness 
  • Ringing or fullness in your ears
  • Stiffness or difficulty opening your mouth to talk or eat 
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Our physical therapists use their expertise to treat TMJ problems including, but not limited to:

  • Manual therapy techniques (including: soft tissue massage, myofascial release, trigger point release, joint mobilization, muscle energy techniques, strain-counter strain, craniofacial, visceral mobilization, etc.)
  • Intra-oral and extra-oral manual therapy
  • Postural assessment and restoration
  • Exercises to address muscle imbalances
  • Training to reduce habits that aggravate your jaw
  • Breathing and relaxation training to reduce stress and tension in your jaw
  • Techniques for relaxing your jaw during exercise

 

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), is a collective term that describes an entire group of disorders involving the temporomandibular joint(s) (TMJ) or jaw joints and associated musculature. Like many other joints in the body, they consist of muscles that control joint movement, ligaments that hold the bones together, cartilage that provides a smooth surface for the bones to move on,  a disc that helps with proper movement of the bones, and elastic tissue that helps hold the disc in place.

One or more of the above structures can cause symptoms. In fact, studies suggest that up to 33% of people will experience TMD, but only about 5-12% of them will actually seek medical treatment.

TMD can be caused by an injury to the jaw, head, or neck, grinding/clenching of the teeth and even stress. Habitual gum chewing, nail biting, and poor posture, particularly in the upper spine and neck have also been strongly linked to TMD due to the repetitive strain it puts on the jaw. It may come as no surprise that a majority of patients diagnosed with TMD also have associated neck pain. Corrective physical therapy exercises and improved postural habits can save your spine and jaw from pain and dysfunction as you age.

All TMJ evaluations include a comprehensive history and examination of your neck and jaw. You will be seen by physical therapists with specialized training in treating TMD. We’ll work with you to reduce your pain and improve your ability to use your jaw in daily activities.

Programs to Complement Your PT

                       Meet Your TMJ/TMD Physical Therapist:                                  Jeremy Ballabon PT, DPT, OCS

Jeremy, a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialty, is our lead physical therapist in the management and treatment of TMD (Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder). He specializes in the management and treatment of orthopedic injury and has extensive clinical experience in treating patients suffering from TMD, Craniofacial Pain, Cervical Pain, Headaches, and Myofascial and Chronic Pain. Jeremy couples this experience, with a diverse background in advanced manual therapy and TMD coursework to achieve the greatest success and relief of your symptoms. He firmly believes continuing education and literary review serve as a critical supplemental resource in expanding his ability to successfully treat this unique population. Ultimately, Jeremy understands the crippling and debilitating effect of these symptoms on a patient’s quality of life. His holistic approach to treatment includes educating patients on proper stress management, hydration, and sleep. He tailors his treatments to the individual and guides his patients every step of the way!

 

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