TMJ Pain Relief
Larissa Treloar of Waverly was referred to Taylor Physical Therapy in February because of migraines and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. TMJ is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or inflammation to the temporomandibular joint. This joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one of these joints on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that open and close your mouth.
Larissa had suffered from frequent headaches for over 10 years. She knew she needed help when the headaches escalated to horrible migraines over the past year. Her health care provider referred her to Taylor Physical Therapy.
“Larissa was really in a lot of pain when she came to see me. She had terrible, constant muscle tension headaches including neck and jaw pain,” Ron Ragsdale, DPT, commented. “Because of her pain, she was struggling to keep up with her work, as well as taking care of two children at home.”
“When Ron first assessed my jaw, he said it was the tightest he’d ever seen,” Larissa shared.
During her therapy sessions, Ron used a combination of various exercises and a technique called dry needling. Ron has advanced training in dry needling. The technique involves inserting a thin needle through the skin, which stimulates underlying muscle pain trigger points and connective tissues.
A trigger point is a tight band of muscles located within a larger muscle group. Trigger points can be tender to the touch, and touching a trigger point may cause pain to other parts of the body.
Dry needling results in muscle relaxation, a decrease in pain and improvement in flexibility and movement.
“Dry needling can be pretty uncomfortable, but Ron and I get to chatting and it helps to distract me. We enjoy talking about our families,” Larissa shared. “The treatment is working and it’s amazing to not have daily headaches anymore!”
“Thankfully, my jaw has loosened up quite a bit and is no longer a trigger for the headaches. My migraines and jaw pain have decreased significantly,” she continued. “My trapezius and neck muscles are not nearly as tight, and my posture has improved from the exercises Ron gave me to do at home.”
“Larissa quickly noticed a significant improvement from our treatment. She did a great job of following through with home exercises and the changes we recommended in her body mechanics and posture,” Ron commented. “After 10 treatments over a 2-month period of time, she is back to her normal activities again.”