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For TMD sufferers, relief can be found away from the dentist’s chair

EAST HANOVER, NJ (March 21, 2014) – Maybe a visit to the dentist isn’t what you need — maybe you should see a physical therapist instead.

The most common chronic, non-dental facial pain, TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder — previously known as TMJ) affects more than 10 million Americans. The condition manifests itself in any of several problems with chewing-related muscles and joints, and most people initially seek a dentist’s input in hopes of alleviating their discomfort. But the reality is that relief from TMD symptoms often comes more quickly via physical therapy … and it’s not unusual for a dentist to refer a TMD patient to such a therapy provider.

SportsCare Institute therapists have pioneered a variety of treatments to relieve the types of pain generally associated with TMD. These include pain when opening and closing the jaw, stiffness in the neck and ear, headaches, and the “locking” of jaw muscles.

“Many people who’ve been referred to us by a dentist are surprised physical therapy can help,” says Sejal Gajarawala, DPT.  “But while a dentist can diagnose TMD, we provide actual pain relief, a decrease in stiffness, habit modification, and overall patient education. Our therapists emphasize techniques to help increase jaw range of motion — which, in turn, restores our patients to normal function.”

Utilizing ultrasound, electrical stimulation, iontophoresis (the non-invasive application of anti-inflammatory medication), a variety of massage therapies, and therapeutic and postural exercises, SportsCare’s physical therapists work with TMD sufferers to both decrease pain and actually increase range of motion and restore normal jaw function. 

SportsCare Institute also assists patients in developing healthy lifestyle habits to improve healing and prevent future TMD pain.

“Helping patients make changes resulting in long-term relief is our goal, and it’s why education is crucial,” says Sejal Gajarawala, DPT.  “Many patients don’t initially realize that stress is a prime factor for TMD. We ensure patients have the knowledge to maintain a more comfortable life.”

About SportsCare Institute, Inc.

SportsCare Institute, Inc. manages a network of physical and occupational therapy centers. The company’s goal is providing the highest quality of care available, with an emphasis on preventing injury, treating pain, and recovering function.  Each of SportsCare’s more than 50 facilities offers the latest technology in rehabilitation, and is equipped with state-of-the art modalities, testing and exercise equipment, and more. Additional information is available online, at https://sportscare1.com.

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