One in four people suffer from TMJ Syndrome. The TMJ is the Temporo-mandibular Joint, which is the joint connecting your lower jaw and your skull. The movement in this joint allows you to open and close your jaw and chew from side to side. Muscle spasm in the muscles connected to the jaw can cause symptoms such as headache, pain behind your eyes, sinus pain and pain in the neck and shoulders.
Some patients clench or grind their teeth either caused by anxiety, or when concentrating on a task, or more commonly, during sleep. This aggravates the muscles around the TMJ. Generally, patients wake up with a stiff jaw and/or a headache.
It is important to see your dentist to rule out any problems withyour bite and teeth. Physiotherapists can be very helpful in assessing TMJ problems.
Physiotherapy treatment may include gentle TMJ mobilisations, trigger points, acupuncture and a home exercise programme to gently stretch these muscles. If the TMJ is the cause of the headache and jaw pain, improvement tends to be rapid following physiotherapy treatment, thereby reducing the worry and fatigue that goes with headaches and pain.
Doctors who refer patients with low back pain for physiotherapy within 14 days, decrease the overall care costs and reduce recurring visits, according to a study conducted at the University of Utah. The study concluded that early physiotherapy referral halved the need for steroid injections or surgery. (Taken from Frontline, 20 June 2012, vol18, no 11)
A recent study done in Spain shows that one in four children suffer back pain as a result of carrying too much in their school rucksacks. The study of 1403 children aged between 12 and 17 found that almost two-thirds carried rucksacks weighing more than 10% of their own body weight, averaging at 7kgs (15lbs) per bag. Taken from “The Week” Issue no 862.
A problem I encounter regularly with teenagers. This can often lead to shoulder problems too. A regular check of how much is in the rucksack and leaving out books/items not needed for the day could help. Ensure the rucksack is carried over both shoulders too!
We offer specific assessment, diagnosis, advice and treatment of acute and chronic musuloskeletal injuries and sports injuries including:
- Spinal – Neck and back pain: Whiplash, osteoarthritus, muscle strains, sciatica, prolapsed disk, postural pain and correction.
- Upper Limb – Shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand pain including repetitive strain, fracture rehabilitation, frozen shoulders, post op shoulder rehab, tennis and golfers’ elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Lower Limb – Hip, knee, ankle and foot pain, post op rehabilitation, sports injuries to the knee and ankle, muscle strains and tears, tendon and ligament problems, adolescent knee pain, achilles heel.