Dry Needling for TMJ pain relief

Dry Needling for TMJ pain relief

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complex joints of human body, being the part of stomatognathic system composed of masseter muscles, head and neck muscles, ligaments, teeth, cheeks, lips, and salivary gland. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) is the main reason of orofacial pain which is not caused by teeth.

After consulting with your dentist for occlusal assessment of your teeth (to rule out your teeth as the issue), we break down the assessment of the TMJ by examining the muscles (myalgia) or joint (arthralgia), both of which could be a reason for your TMJ pain and clicking.

There are many approaches to treating TMJ pain (TMD) including protective measurements, exercises, physiotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Manual therapy is an effective approach to help relax your jaw muscles and improve how your jaw opens/closes. A type of manual therapy is through dry needling.

Dry needling becomes effective by disrupting mechanically contractile elements that are abnormally functioning or sensorial or motor components of nerve terminations which contributes to the trigger point activity. It initiates trigger point damage and recovery process starts.

We utilize dry needling, if necessary, in addition to patient education, exercises and manual therapy to the jaw and cervical spine for a complete and well-rounded approach to your treatment. We perform pre and post-treatment assessment to determine how effective it is and your response can help us determine how many sessions you may need and what other treatments are effective for you.

Therefore, dry needling is not a stand alone treatment and is coupled alongside patient education, ergonomic changes, cervical spine strengthening and/or mobility training.

If you are having pain, contact your dentist to see if you are a right candidate for PT services by PhysioFit of North Carolina. Feel free to contact us below too for direct care.