Modalities Used to Treat TMJ / TMD Disorders
There are various therapeutic modalities used to help patients’ muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments heal. Treatments used by Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center are used to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, decrease swelling, muscle spasms and pain while helping tissues heal faster.
Therapeutic Electrical Stimulation:
Therapeutic Electrical Stimulation is used to treat many types of muscle pain such as muscle splinting, muscle spasms, and myofascial trigger points. It also reduces tissue edema, increases blood flow, and increases tissue oxygenation to ischemic areas over multiple sessions.
Ultrasound is used to treat musculoskeletal conditions. High frequency sound waves are used to treat tendons, muscles, nerves, and ligaments in two ways (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 help restore the tissue cells to regain their normal function.
Prolotherapy is also known as proliferation therapy or regenerative injection therapy. It is used to treat ligaments and tendons for the purpose of strengthening weakened connective tissue and alleviating musculoskeletal pain. 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 great for sore muscles and joints. It increases blood flow and helps to decrease inflammation and pain.
Spray & 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.