Tag Archives: headache

TMJ Pain

Physical Therapy Helps With TMJ Pain

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TMJ Pain

Physical Therapy can help those suffering with pain associated with the facial region, head, and/or neck, including those struggling with Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders.

The temporomandibular joint or TMJ, is a complex joint located in front of each ear. It is responsible for allowing mouth opening and closing. When the TMJ is not working correctly, you may experience jaw pain, clicking, popping, or locking of the joint. You may also experience headaches, neck pain, sinus pain, dizziness, and ear ringing or pain. TMJ pain or Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) is not strictly limited to the jaw, jaw, it can also be influenced by activities, positioning, or alignment of the head and neck.

COMMON CAUSES

  • Excessive grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Joint stiffness
  • TMJ Disorders
  • Poor Posture or Ergonomics
  • Other neck conditions including pain and headache
  • Stress and muscle tension

TMJ Pain

PHYSICAL THERAPY TREATMENT FOR TMJ
Physical therapy treatment includes an in depth evaluation of the structures of the cervical spine, jaw joints and head. Treatment could include manual therapy techniques for the spine, jaw and soft tissues, exercise for the jaw and neck, and modalities. Evaluation focuses on the relationship of the muscles, joints and nerves of the jaw, head, neck and face and how they relate to each other. Manual therapy may be used to improve range of motion and mobility of the jaw and neck. Exercise is designed to restore the proper balance of the spine and head to take unnecessary stress off of sensitive tissues and to support the body so it can perform the activities of daily living efficiently and comfortably. Modalities will decrease the short-term discomfort and joint irritation. We will look at how you interact with your environment to see if there are activates you preform that put increase stress on your body which could cause increased pain. Most importantly, in addition to these techniques, the patient is provided with a home exercise program to aid in symptom reduction. Each treatment plan is based on a patient’s individual needs and the therapist, patient, and referring practitioner work as a team to reach the patients goals.

This information was written by Rehab Associates of Central Virginia, an outpatient physical therapy group with 13 locations in Central Virginia. Their physical therapists have advanced degrees in specialty orthopedic care from head to toe. From musculoskeletal headaches to lower back pain to heel pain syndrome, they can help take away your pain and help you return to normal activity. For more information click here.

concussion

True or False: A Person With a Serious Head Injury or Concussion Should Be Kept Awake

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TrueorFalse_FBsize

All head injuries should be treated seriously. While most won’t cause lasting effects, if improperly treated, they can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.

The most common type of head injury is a concussion. It is a jarring trauma to the brain that can cause a person to lose consciousness or have amnesia.

What do you do if you are around someone who experiences a serious head injury or concussion? You may have heard that you should not let the person go to sleep, but is this true? Most health professionals don’t think so. It is generally considered safe for people with head injuries or concussions to go to sleep. In some cases, a doctor may recommend waking the person regularly to make sure his or her condition has not worsened.

Evidence for the Health Claim
Many people will go to great lengths to keep a person who has had a head injury from falling asleep. They argue that keeping the person awake will decrease the risk that he or she slips into a coma.

This misunderstanding probably stems from hearing about a rare occurrence known as a lucid interval that has been associated with certain types of severe head injuries. A lucid interval occurs when the initial bleeding in the brain does not cause loss of consciousness. The bleeding eventually worsens and brain structures become compressed. The person’s condition can rapidly deteriorate, requiring emergency brain surgery.

Evidence Against the Health Claim

Most medical professionals say it is fine—sometimes even advised—to let people sleep after incurring a head injury.

The American Academy of Family Physicians states it is not necessary to keep a person awake after a head injury. If a person needs to be watched that closely, a doctor will most likely admit him or her to the hospital. The Dartmouth College of Sports Medicine advises that it is fine to go to sleep after a concussion so long as someone wakes you up every two hours. They are to check to make sure you can be easily awakened and aren’t displaying symptoms of a worsening condition.

In a study in the September-October 2005 issue of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, researchers reported greater levels of fatigue in people who have had head injuries, compared with those who have not. The researchers concluded that regular rest breaks and increasing intervals of restful sleep should be a part of the rehabilitation from head injury.

neon concussion

Conclusion
If you are around someone who has a head injury or possible concussion, monitor the symptoms closely. It is important to call a doctor or go to a hospital immediately if the person has worrisome symptoms such as:
• Open wound in the scalp or misshapen deformity of the skull
• Severe or progressive worsening headache
• Changes in behavior (eg, confusion, restlessness, irritability, lethargy)
• Dilated pupils or pupils of different sizes
• Convulsions or seizures
• Difficulty waking from sleep
• Trouble walking or speaking
• Bleeding or drainage of fluids from nose or ears
• Unusual sleepiness or decreasing alertness
• Severe or persistent nausea, or vomiting more than twice
• Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs

When a head injury is serious enough to require medical care, a doctor will give you instructions on how to monitor and treat the injury once the person is released from the hospital or clinic. These instructions will generally not include keeping the person awake and alert.

by Krisha McCoy, MS

More PTandMe articles about concussions can be found here:

concussion physical therapy   concussion treatment

   

REFERENCES:
Head injuries. KidsHealth.org website. Available at: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/emergencies/head_injury.html. Accessed November 5, 2008.

Head injuries: what to watch for afterward. Familydoctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/084.xml. November 5, 2008.

Head injury: concussion. Dartmouth College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~sportmed/concussion.html. November 5, 2008.

Radiology for traumatic brain injury. Trauma.org website. Available at:http://www.trauma.org/neuro/neuroradiology.html. Accessed July 23, 2006.

Subjective reports of fatigue during early recovery from traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. 2005;20:416-425.

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

TMJ

There is Hope for TMJ Pain

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TMJ is where the lower jaw meets the skull.

The temporomandibular joint or TMJ, is a complex joint located in front of each ear. It is responsible for allowing mouth opening and closing. When the TMJ is not working correctly, you may experience jaw pain, clicking, popping, or locking of the joint. You may also experience headaches, neck pain, sinus pain, dizziness, and ear ringing or pain. TMJ pain or Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) is not strictly limited to the jaw, it can also be influenced by the alignment of the head and neck.

The goal of Physical Therapy treatment for Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) is to provide pain relief using a variety of techniques to improve your range of motion through exercise and manual therapy and to improve posture and muscle imbalance. There may be modifications to your activities or work station that would be helpful as well.

man with ear pain

SYMPTOMS
• Face or Jaw Pain
• Ear Pain
• Tinnitis (ringing in the ears)
• Dizziness
• Headache
• Jaw Clicking and/or Popping
• Neck Pain
• Limited Jaw Opening

TREATMENT
Your Physical Therapist will work closely with your Dentist or Physician to establish an individualized treatment plan based on results from a comprehensive evaluation. The most current treatment options will be utilized to ensure the best outcome for decreased pain and improved function.

TREATMENT WILL INCLUDE, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO:
• Comprehensive evaluation of head, neck, and jaw
• Education regarding the diagnosis and related head, neck and jaw dysfunction. This includes addressing any of your questions or concerns.
• Individualized program specific to your needs including modalities, joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, postural education, neuromuscular re-education and TMJ management techniques.
• Collaboration between referring physician or dentist to ensure comprehensive and integrated care.

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics.

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1.One Less Headache to Worry About
Written by the therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics Physical Therapy

Jaw and head pain can be a real pain in the neck—literally. Did you know that many people suffering from both temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and headaches have postural issues with their cervical spine or neck? This is why we can be an important ally in combating persistent headaches and TMD-related facial pain. Read More

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2. PAIN, NO GAIN. BE NICE TO YOURSELF

Written by Jen Ryskamp at The Center for Physical Rehabilitation

“No pain, no gain”

This is a phrase we have all heard spoken in gyms or on the field especially during particularly difficult workouts. I’m sure you have uttered the phrase a time to two when you felt like giving up on a task that was physically challenging for self-motivation. Cleverly thought up by Jane Fonda in the 1980’s, she used this concept to keep her clientele motivated. Jane was a pioneer in the workout world selling 17 million copies of her aerobic exercise videos, motivating people to get in shape. Her lifetime of physical fitness has paid off. Now in her 70’s, she still has a great physique and carries herself well. Read More

 

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3. 4 Safety Tips for the Weekend Warrior
Written by the therapy Team at Desert Hand Therapy and Physical Therapy

Weekend warrior (noun): a person who participates in an activity only in their spare time.
Every day, approximately 10,000 Americans visit the emergency room for sports or exercise-related injuries. If you are a weekend warrior, it’s important to remember your body can’t go from inactive mode to weekend warrior mode in an instant. Exercise intensity needs to be progressive, or the risk for injury increases. Weekend warriors tend to jump right into an intense activity and bypass preparation. Read More

concussion signs

Concussions in High School Athletics are On the Rise

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Concussion Signs

Concussions in high school athletics have been increasing dramatically.  According to the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, in the 2005-2006 school year 9% of high school athletic injuries were diagnosed as a concussion/head injury. The 2013-14 school year showed concussions to be at 21.9%.   With this kind of increase it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and how to respond to them.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. Concussions can have a more serious effect on a young,developing brain and need to be addressed correctly.

What are common concussion signs and symptoms?

You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after an injury or may not appear or be noticed until hours or days after the injury. It is important to watch for changes in how your child or teen is acting or feeling, if symptoms are getting worse, or if s/he just “doesn’t feel right.” Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness. If your child or teen reports one or more of the symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away. Children and teens are among those at greatest risk for concussion.

Signs and Symptoms

DANGER SIGNS

Be alert for symptoms that worsen over time. Your child or teen should be seen in an emergency department right away if s/he has:

  • One pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) larger than the other
  • Drowsiness or cannot be awakened
  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Difficulty recognizing people or places
  • Increasing confusion, restlessness, or agitation
  • Unusual behavior
  • Loss of consciousness (even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously)

 

What should I do if my child or teen is showing concussion signs?

Help them take time to get better. If your child or teen has a concussion, her or his brain needs time to heal. Your child or teen may need to limit activities while s/he is recovering from a concussion. Exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying,working on the computer, or playing video games may cause concussion symptoms (such as headache or tiredness) to reappear or get worse. After a concussion,physical and cognitive activities—such as concentration and learning—should be carefully managed and monitored by a health care professional.

To see the full report of high school injuries click here

For more information visit www.cdc.gov/concussion

 

Additional articles from PTandMe about concussions can be found here:

concussion baseline testing    

concussion treatment   concussion physical therapy