Dr. Corey Hillman, DPT
TMJ Series-Part 2: Treatment Options (Manual Therapy and Dry Needling )
Updated: Apr 21
In our previous post, we discussed some of the signs and symptoms that are common with TMJ/TMD. This leaves the question: what can be done? From a physical therapy perspective, we may incorporate: 1) manual therapy, 2) exercises, and 3) Lifestyle Modifications. We will discuss exercise and lifestyle modification in a future blog and focus our attention today on manual therapy.
Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques that are designed to mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints. This technique can be used to help relieve muscle tension, increase range of motion, and reduce pain. In the case of TMJ pain, manual therapy can be used to address the muscles and joints in the jaw, neck, and upper back that may be contributing to the pain.
Dry needling is another technique that is used to treat TMJ pain. This technique involves inserting thin needles into trigger points or areas of muscle tension to release the tension and improve blood flow. The needles used in dry needling are similar to those used in acupuncture, but the techniques are different.
When used together, manual therapy and dry needling can help to address the underlying causes of TMJ pain and improve function. Here are some of the ways in which these techniques can be used to treat TMJ disorders:
Relieve Muscle Tension - Manual therapy and dry needling can both be used to help release muscle tension in the jaw, neck, and upper back. This can help to reduce pain and improve range of motion.
Improve Joint Mobility - Manual therapy can be used to mobilize the joints in the jaw and neck, which can help to improve joint mobility and reduce pain. This can be especially helpful for patients with arthritis or other degenerative conditions.
If you are suffering from TMJ pain, manual therapy and dry needling may be effective treatment options for you. These techniques can help to reduce pain, improve function, and address the underlying causes of your TMJ disorder. In our next blog post we will discuss exercises which can be helpful for reducing TMJ Pain.
Dr. Corey Hillman is a Physical Therapist and owner of Gate City Physio – a boutique physical therapy clinic in Downtown Greensboro. He specializes in helping individuals suffering from jaw pain, headaches and neck pain regain their freedom and get back to enjoying the little things in life.