Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ, TMD)
TMJ/TMD - refers to the temporomadibular joint (the jaw) and it's dysfunction. Causes of TMD are not always clear, but may be caused or complicated by:
- Poor posture
- Poor dental alignment
- Trauma to the head or face - possibly a car accident
- Cervical pain and spasm
Common symptoms of TMD
- Facial pain and tenderness
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Loss of jaw motion
- Trigger points in the neck or face
- Difficulty with eating, yawning or shouting
- Neck pain
A physical therapist trained in the treatment of TMD, is the proven professional to partner with your dentist in the conservative management of TMD. Scientific research has shown that the majority of patients treated with a conservative approach have complete relief or significant reduction of symptoms. Common goals for a physical therapy patient is to avoid surgery and reduce dependence on medication, this clearly applies to the TMD patient.
Albert Galotti, P.T. has been treating TMD patients since 1988. Dr. Mark Friedman, DDS, a dentist specializing in treating only TMD, and the therapist he worked with initially introduced Albert to the proper treatment approach. Then in 1992, Albert spent a year assisting in the N.Y.U. post-graduate dental program for TMJ disorders, working with Dr. Michael Gelb, DDS. Albert's responsibility there was to teach the dentists about the physical therapist's role in treating these patients.
What the patient can expect
- Initial Visit: will include a complete evaluation to establish the proper treatment for that patient and set goals. Treatment is usually started on the first visit.
- Follow-up Visits: initially two sessions per week are usually needed, and decrease to one when symptoms are reduced. Treatment will include the use of physical therapy modalities, postural training, manual treatment, and a home exercise program.
- Insurance coverage: this is a covered service that our staff will confirm for the patient.