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Physio Isn’t Just for Car Accidents and Back Injuries

Every year, approximately 170,000 Canadians are injured in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these injuries will require significant physiotherapy and rehabilitation to mend the victims’ injuries, which are often musculoskeletal and usually involve soft tissue damage. As a result, it’s very common for physicians to prescribe physiotherapy or massage therapy following a motor vehicle accident.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

If you are able to avoid being involved in an prix cialis 5 mg comprime pellicule boite de 28 automobile collision, you may still find yourself employing the services of a physiotherapist or registered massage therapist to help with chronic back pain. Over 80% of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives, and if you sit at a desk for a living (see our blog from Monday, Oct. 19th) you are likely to be in this group. So we know that sitting and car accidents cause back and neck injuries, but what about the rest of your body? Many people experience pain in the knees, elbows, hips, shoulders, neck, or jaw. Jaw pain, while certainly less common than low-back pain, can be awful to live with, interfering with the enjoyment of food, or even speaking.

If your jaw is hurting, you may not be surprised to know that as many as 12% of the population suffer from TMJD (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder). TMJD can be characterized by difficulty with chewing, joint sounds (snaps, crackles and pops), or prolonged acute joint point. This pain may radiate around the ear, and may be present whether the joint is moving or not. Sufferers may have difficulty opening their mouths fully, or may experience an uncomfortable or uneven bite.

Thankfully, physiotherapy can help to treat TMJD by relaxing, stretching and treating tight muscles and scar tissue, to allow the mandibular joint to move and function normally. In some cases, physiotherapy alone is not enough to correct the disorder, and surgery is required. When surgery is the only option, physio can aid in the post-surgical recovery and help prevent the formation of scar tissue.

Whether used as a pre-surgical or post-surgical treatment, physiotherapy treatments may include heat therapy to improve blood circulation, cold therapy to reduce swelling and relieve pain, and massage to relieve overall muscle tension and improve blood flow.

An RPT (registered physiotherapist) may also make use of acupuncture or even combine acupuncture with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to relax jaw muscles, stimulate blood flow and potentially even interrupt pain signals to the brain. RMTs (registered massage therapists) can also treat TMJD with some of the same treatment modalities, but they may also have some advanced soft tissue massage techniques to help break down scar tissue and increase circulation. Luckily, the interdisciplinary healthcare team at BodyMend can provide expert care from both disciplines.

Regardless of what treatment modality is used, physiotherapy and massage are great tools to combating TMJD pain. If you’re suffering from jaw pain, email us at info@bodymend.ca to book an appointment and take the first step back to better health.

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