Pain in the temporomandibular joint for those that suffer from TMJ disorder may flare up for a wide variety of reasons. This joint acts as a hinge to connect the jaw to the skull. When you suffer from TMJ disorder, pain occurs in this joint and the surrounding muscles that aid in movements. There are triggers that have been identified that may contribute to a TMJ flare-up.
Not all people who suffer from TMJ disorder experience all triggers that result in flare-ups. Many may only have one trigger, while others may have a multitude of triggers. Below is an outlined list of the most common triggers found by doctors among patients.
Causes for TMJ Flare-Ups
- The joint becomes injured through a direct blow or some type of impact
- Grinding or any type of clenching of the teeth
- Disease of the connective tissue near the joint
- Stress that results in the development of clenching or grinding
- Hormonal changes from supplements, birth control, and the menstrual cycle or menopause
- Consuming foods that are hard and very chewy
- Dehydration of the body which negatively impacts the lubrication of the joint
- The TMJ disk experiences erosion
- The disk gets out of alignment
- The cartilage of the joint experiences damage from the development of arthritis
- Poor posture of the body
- Weak facial muscles
- Weak neck muscles
- Injuries to the facial, neck, or upper back/shoulder muscles
- Deficiency of Vitamin D
- Certain types of medications
- Underlying medical conditions
- Overactive nerves
- Muscle problems of any kind
- Talking/chewing/and/or playing musical instruments
How Do You Relieve the Pain Quickly?
The fastest way to alleviate pain caused by TMJ disorder is to learn TMJ pain relief exercises. You may search for these online, or consult with a physical therapist who specializes in TMJ.
Not only will the PT be able to tell you the exercises that will aid in pain relief, but they will also be able to walk you through these pain relief exercises to ensure that they are performed properly. In addition to working closely with a physical therapist, you may apply heat and ice in 10-to-15-minute intervals, take over-the-counter pain relievers and inflammation reducers, and even resort to a soft-food or liquid diet.
We Can Help
We here at Back to Motion Physical Therapy know and understand the dynamics of TMJ disorder. We will meet with you to review your health background, the degree in which you suffer from TMJ disorder, and create a customized exercise regimen that will assist you in overcoming the symptoms of this incredibly painful and devastating illness. If you would like to learn more, or would like to schedule an appointment with us, contact us today.