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  • Writer's pictureNicole Hutchison

I have TMD but I don’t want to have surgery. Is there anything else I can do?

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is pain in the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. TMD can be acute or chronic, but the exact cause of TMD is sometimes difficult to determine. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in one or both of the jaw joints

  • Pain in or around your ear

  • Pain with chewing

  • Headaches

  • Facial pain

  • Limited range of motion in your jaw or locking of the joint

  • Clicking or popping when you open your mouth or chew

Sometimes symptoms are temporary and resolve on their own, but if symptoms are severe or persist it’s time to seek treatment. Finding a Physician, Dentist, Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, or Massage Therapist that has special training in treating TMD is important.* Your provider will do a thorough evaluation of your jaw and the surrounding muscles, and may recommend x-rays, a CT scan, or MRI.

Treatment may include moist heat or ice, medication (anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, muscle relaxers, or antidepressants), ultrasound, light therapy,, oral splints or mouth guards, exercises for stretching and/or strengthening, massage, or relaxation strategies. Education in factors that may be aggravating your pain can also be helpful so that you can avoid them, such as biting your fingernails or clenching your jaw. In rare cases, injections or surgery may be needed.

~Nicole Hutchison, PT, CSCS, Health Coach, Integrative Nutrition Coach

*At Statera, we recommend scheduling with Dr. Lynn Randall (Chiropractor), Julie Haufe (Massage Therapist), and/or Nicole Hutchison (Physical Therapist) for treatment of TMD. Please call 563-207-8932 to schedule.

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