3 Alternative TMJ Treatment Options Q&A
If you are looking for alternative treatments to surgical TMJ treatments, Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders has less invasive treatments to suit your needs. With the use of modern technological advances such as TENS and custom-fit oral appliances, Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders has solutions for every patient. Please call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI.
Table of Contents:
What is TMJ?
How can BOTOX® help me with my TMJ disorder?
What is physical therapy for TMJ treatment?
What is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)?
When will I feel results from my TENS treatment?
TMJ is, in medical terms, known as the temporomandibular joint. The TMJ works in multiple ways to open a person’s mouth. The first way is to simply open and close the mouth. The second, is a sliding motion called translation, where a person’s lower jaw moves down and forward. This motion helps with movements like eating, yawning and singing. There are ways to keep your TMJ functioning properly, and the main way is to ensure dental visits twice a year to catch any early symptoms of a TMJ disorder. If you happen to be suffering from a TMJ disorder, there are many treatment options for you. Be sure to discuss these options with your dentist or sleep doctor. Treatment options can include BOTOX®, physical therapy or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
A person’s TMJ is located on both sides of their head where their jawbone meets their skull. BOTOX® will help relieve any jaw tension by not allowing muscles to engage in the unconscious movement of the jaw that typically produces headaches and pain in the jaw. These injections will help to temporarily eliminate headaches that result from teeth grinding, and in some cases BOTOX® can even minimize lock jaw.
Manual physical therapy for TMJ often includes hands on techniques that work to improve joint motion and also help reduce stiffness in the muscles. These therapy treatments are often times used to help the joint move in a “normal” way and also decrease pain. Although, physical therapy can often provide immediate relief, the discomfort and pain will most likely return.
TENS is a pain treatment that utilizes low voltage electrical currents to treat pain in the patient’s body for therapeutic purposes. This treatment is typically done using a TENS unit.
When a patient is utilizing TENS for treatment for TMJ, electrodes are placed at the specific sites on the patient’s body, this will highly depend on where the pain is occurring. The electrical currents will then travel through the electrodes and into the patient’s skin. This will have an effect of stimulation in the specific nerve pathways and work to produce a tingling or massaging sensation that will, in turn, reduce the patient’s perception of pain in the treated area. The TENS unit should be used as directed by a medical professional who is certified and highly experienced in administering this type of treatment option. TENS is a very safe, noninvasive and drug-free method of pain management. Many patients utilize the TENS unit for treatment of their TMJ disorder, and have reported its usage to offering a better quality of life for them. TENS will also stimulate the release of endorphins, which are the feel-good chemical in your body from your brain. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relieving chemical which will also work to lessen the symptoms that are associated with TMJ disorders.
Most patients have said that it takes roughly about 30 minutes for their low-frequency TENS treatment to begin relieving their pain. Some patients have also reported feeling hours of alleviated pain relief from just a 30 to 60-minute session.
You will work with your sleep doctor or dentist to find out more about the TENS units and they will always be sure to give you proper instructions on how to use the unit and for how long per session. Get relief today from your TMJ disorder using the TENS unit at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders.