Types of Therapies for TMJ Treatment
There are various TMJ treatment approaches to help relieve pain and heal muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. Headaches and migraines, as well as pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck, and shoulders can be unrelenting and a disruption to daily life. Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center provides proven therapies to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and decrease swelling, muscle spasms and pain while helping tissues heal faster.
Oral Orthotic Therapy
Oral orthotics are an extremely effective therapy for TMJ disorder, craniofacial pain, and sleep apnea. Referred to as night guards, oral appliances, or TMJ splint, they are custom fitted orthotics to your jaw, teeth, and severity of condition. They are created using the latest in dental technology. The devise repositions the jaw, decompress the jaw joint, realigns the bite, and limits the amount of force the jaw muscles generate. The appliances treat clicking and popping joints, lock jaw, TMJ pain, facial pain, ear pain, and chronic headaches and migraines.
Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser
MLS Laser Therapy is quickly becoming the standard of care in alleviating both acute and chronic pain. This patented, FDA-cleared technology has an 85% – 90% efficacy rate in relieving pain and inflammation, eliminates risk from surgery and prescription pain killers, has no negative side effects, and restores patients’ lives.
Laser therapy uses light to accelerate the body’s natural healing processes. The laser beam is moved over the skin so that the light energy (photons) penetrates the tissue where it interacts with various molecules (chromophores) that cause different biological effects. It produces a photochemical, photothermal and photomechanical effect.
MLS Laser Therapy has an anti-edema effect as it causes vasodilation, but also because it activates the lymphatic drainage system which drains swollen areas. As a result, there is a reduction in swelling caused by bruising or inflammation.
MLS Laser Therapy has a beneficial effect on nerve cells. It blocks pain transmitted by these cells to the brain which decreases nerve sensitivity. Also, due to the decreased inflammation, there is less edema and less pain. Another pain blocking mechanism involves the production of high levels of pain killing chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalin from the brain and adrenal glands.
Ultrasound therapy is used to treat musculoskeletal conditions as part of TMJ disorder. High frequency sound waves are used to heal tendons, muscles, nerves, and ligaments through thermal and mechanical effects. Ultrasound helps to increase cell membrane permeability, promotes healing of injured or damaged tissues, and changes the electrical activity of excitable tissues. Ultrasound also changes the chemical activity within tissues, reduces edema, inflammation, and pain.
Phonophoresis is used in conjunction with ultrasound. Through the use of ultrasound, an anti-inflammatory medication is delivered into the underlying tissues which reduces inflammation and promotes healing.
Iontophoresis is the use of low electrical current which delivers medications through the skin. It is used to treat inflammation in jaw joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and trigger points.
Trigger Point Injections:
A trigger point is a hyperirritable spot of skeletal muscle. When the doctor presses on a trigger point, he is able to reproduce the patient’s complaint of pain. Trigger point pain can radiate to other areas, sometimes 12 or more inches away. Injections are used when trigger points are unresponsive to other therapeutic modalities such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound. The medication used in Trigger Point Injections helps restore the tissue cells to regain their normal function.
Prolotherapy is also known as regenerative injection therapy is an effective TMJ treatment that stimulates the body’s healing process. Prolotherapy is used to treat ligaments and tendons for the purpose of strengthening weakened connective tissue and alleviating musculoskeletal pain. It is based on the fact that when ligaments or tendons are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes and can become painful. The localized inflammation triggers a wound-healing cascade, resulting in the deposition of new collagen. New collagen shrinks as it matures thus making the ligament or tendon that was injected stronger. Pain signals are no longer sent once the ligament or tendon heals.
Moist heat is a beneficial therapy for sore muscles and joints, especially as part of TMJ treatment. Moist heat increases blood flow and helps to decrease inflammation and pain.
Spray and Stretch:
Spray & Stretch is a technique used to gently stretch the muscles to effectively manage myofascial pain, trigger points, spasms, and restricted range of motion. Using a topical anesthetic vapocoolant on the effective area, the doctor can stretch the impacted area to reduce pain and increase range of motion.
Therapies for TMJ Treatment:
If you are experiencing craniofacial pain, it may be due to a TMJ disorder. You don’t have to continue to suffer. It’s important to find the right treatment to relieve your pain. Contact us today for an evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment plan.