Category: Uncategorised

Spiky Ball Part 4

Even if you’ve never used a spiky ball for massage, you can probably imagine that it can be an uncomfortable process. However, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Improving your circulation whilst easing pain and tension with just a little piece of silicon? Where do I sign up?

If you’re a follower of the blog, you’ll have already seen our tutorials for this special little massage tool/torture implement for your feet.(https://bit.ly/3qNP7DK), your buttocks here (https://bit.ly/3t4CAyS) and your shoulders here (https://bit.ly/3xoK3um).

Today, however, we’re going to focus on the calf muscles. Our two main calf muscles are the gastrocnemius (the big “ball” of the calf), which has 2 heads, a medial and a lateral; and soleus (deeper and lower down on the leg). We also have muscles which move our toes and help to move the sole of our feet in and out in the lower part of the leg on the posterior side. We can work these at the same time with our spiky ball.

What can i use them for?

We’ve already heard about how massage works by creating pressure and stimulation. This is through the skin and into the tissues of the body, including muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia (connective tissue). This increases blood flow and helps to reduce blood pressure. The pressure from the spiky ball desensitises nerves, and helps us move on from (or at least around) pain.

How much pressure do i apply?

Remember that you are in charge of the pressure, and we have various ways of bringing the soft tissue release deeper. Your physiotherapist’s thumbs (elbows) can have a day off.

What can i do?

Let’s make a start. Sit on the floor (or a fairly hard surface) with the leg to be stretched out in front of you. Place the spiky ball under the widest part of your calf. (The gastrocnemius) and draw your toes back towards your head. See Figure 1.

(Figure 1)

Now point your toes, allowing the spiky ball to roll a little under your muscles (Figure 2). You can move the ball up or down the leg a little to work into any tight spots. And as always, you should spend as much time as you need to release the tension (but probably not much more than a few minutes).

(Figure 2)

Now try, rolling the foot so that the toes point to the left, and then to the right (Figures 3 and 4). You’ll feel some portions of the soft tissue are more sensitive than others, but if you’re not feeling quite enough pressure, try crossing the opposite leg over for extra weight onto the ball.

(Figure 3)
(Figure 4)

Lastly, roll the ball down towards the Achilles tendon avoiding the bony part at the back of the heel. Try pointing the toes (Figure 5), drawing them back (Figure 6), rolling your leg in and out and crossing the opposite leg on top again.

(Figure 5)
(Figure 6)

You should find that working through the calf releases some of those tighter spots and makes activities like walking and stepping downstairs that little easier.

Further Information

If you have any questions about back or shoulder pain, or would like to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist, please click here to book. Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

For all equiries : Contact – Physioflexx Ayrshire on 01560 483200.

Previous Blogs on our Spiky Ball series can be found here:

Spiky Balls – Physioflexx Ayrshire, Spiky Ball part two – Physioflexx Ayrshire, Spiky Ball series Part three – Physioflexx Ayrshire

What is Mental Health?

Mental Health can be classed as a person’s condition with regard to their physiological and emotional well-being.

Stigma surrounding Mental Health

9 out of 10 people with mental health issues have said that stigma and discrimination surrounding the topic have had a negative impact on their lives. Why is it so hard to talk about it? Many people still have a negative attitude and opinion on mental wellbeing and can treat people differently because of it. One of the main reasons why those with mental health issues do not speak up about it, is the fear that they will be treated differently or that they will be discriminated against. The truth is, to many, mental health is valued just as much if not more than physical health and they both influence each other.

What can you do to improve your mental health?

One of the biggest ways to combat mental health issues is, you guessed it, exercise! Those who take part in regular exercise are around 30% less likely to have depression. This is because physical activity is proven to reduce stress, anger and improve your overall mood. When you exercise your body releases natural hormones called ‘endorphins’ which help to make you feel good. You may also find that this can improve your concentration, sleep and motivation. Taking part in sports or joining a gym for example, is one of many great ways to interact with people and share your interests whilst improving your physical health too. Social exercise will also give you the opportunity to connect and open up to others about how you are feeling mentally, which is important!

Although you must be mindful of the amount of exercise you are doing. Ask yourself is this benefiting you or making you feel overwhelmed. For example, attending the gym 7-8 times a week may seem like a great idea, however, make sure you have enough down time and the chance to do other things, like spend time with friends or loved ones.

Does social media have a part to play?

Unfortunately, like everything, social media has its cons. It allows us to share photos with others and completely manipulate the way our lives look to make ours look ‘better’. Certain angles and lights in photos may make people look skinner or maybe their skin clearer or their eyes brighter. You can even photoshop and remove the pimple that’s been on your face for a week. No one would know. The sad reality is, some children/teens do this to compete with each other, who can get the most likes? When you are constantly seeking approval through social media, it takes its toll on you, its exhausting. It can be very easy to forget what makes you truly happy, instead of trying to make others satisfied with whatever you post. We must realise that not everything is as perfect as it can be portrayed on social media, we are all human beings trying our best every day.

Talk to someone

There is constant growing support from NHS and charity organisations in regard to mental health, more than ever before. Talking to someone close to you, a teacher or councillor about your mental wellbeing can help significantly and will allow you to get the support you need. Your health is not just physical.

If you need any support please follow these links:

BetterHelp – Help us match the right therapist for you

How to seek help for a mental health problem – Mind

References:

Mental health and physical health – Mental Health UK (mentalhealth-uk.org)

Stigma and discrimination | Mental Health Foundation

5 steps to mental wellbeing – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Mental Health and Exercise — Wellbeing In Focus (yourwellbeinginfocus.com)

Frozen Shoulder

Adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as ‘Frozen shoulder’, refers to the sudden onset of severe shoulder pain that later progresses to an extremely stiff and immobile shoulder.

More common in females than it is men (3:1) and in those aged between 40-60, it affects around 2.5% of the population. There is a wide variety of causes that can be categorised below:

  1. Primary – idiopathic onset, meaning there is no clear reason for the onset
  2. Secondary – more common and follows on from pre-disposing factors or previous episode of shoulder pain/injury

A secondary onset can also be split into 3 sub-categories:

  1. Systemic conditions: metabolic, cardiovascular, inflammatory, genetic conditions
  2. Extrinsic factors: low physical activity, fractures, previous stroke, Parkinson’s
  3. Intrinsic factors: shoulder trauma, shoulder surgery, rotator cuff pathology, shoulder infection

What does a Frozen Shoulder look and present like?

Firstly, as always, it is best to seek a thorough examination from a physiotherapist to rule in or out a frozen shoulder – but here are some ways to help spot it.

If you have likely googled what a frozen shoulder is before you may have come across the ‘typical’ 3 stages.

  1. Stage 1 = “Freezing”
  2. This is when usually pain levels are the main limiting factor to movement, rather than stiffness
  • Stage 2 = “Frozen”
  • This is now when pain levels may start to ease and as you push the shoulder towards its end range, it is more the stiffness that is limiting than the pain
  • Stage 3 = “Thawing”
  • This stage is now where everything starts to ease off, pain levels may be low and stiffness is much reduced, but underlying movement deficits may still be present, so it is important to still work closely with your physio at this stage

This 3-stage outline is a good way to look at how the whole process of a Frozen Shoulder looks; however, it is not always as clear or as distinct as this.

Typically, you have a sudden onset of extreme, severe shoulder pain that has either happened out of the blue or after a trauma (such as a fall or rotator cuff tear). Pain is high, you are very easily irritated and has been often described as “excruciating” when moved too suddenly.

Pain is often wide-spread and can’t be “pin-pointed”, and you are likely to have severe restrictions to your mobility and therefore your general day-to-day activities (undressing, washing, reaching overhead etc).

It would still be advised to seek professional attention as other conditions may also present with severe pain and restriction to shoulder mobility:

  • Shoulder osteoarthritis
  • AC joint dysfunction
  • Sub-acromial bursitis
  • Parsonage-Turner Syndrome
  • Rotator cuff pathologies

How do you treat a Frozen Shoulder?

Firstly, treatment is very individual and based on the person’s own goals. However, in the early stages soft tissue release and massage is commonly used to the surrounding muscles to help settle and alleviate pain. Exercise therapy is used throughout to reduced pain and promote range of motion – however these should be specific to your presentation to have the best overall affect and long-term outcome.

Here are a few examples of early-stage exercises that may help manage your pain and movement better:

PENDULUMS: a great way to provide some distraction within the shoulder joint. Perform 10-20 repetitions 2-3 times a day.

ISOMETRICS: keeping your arm in by your side, push in/out in different directions to activate the different muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Hold a contraction for 10s each and repeat 2-3 times a day

Other ways to self-manage your condition include:

  • Hot packs
  • Pain medication
  • Improving lifestyle factors: diet, smoking, weight, stress

How long will this take to get better?

Unfortunately, this is the hardest part for most to understand with a condition like this. Typical online material may suggest 12 to 18 months to fully recover however in our experience here at Physioflexx along with a vast amount of research, it could take up to 30 months to resolve.

That may seem like a long and daunting prospect; however, it is our job as physiotherapists to maximise your rehab. It may take up to 30 months, but that does not necessarily mean 30 months of severe pain. Again, each individual is different but it is extremely important to manage expectations early on so that you and your physio can make the appropriate plans going forward.

You can book online at:

Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

or alternatively you can speak to one of our team directly on 01560 483200

What is shockwave?

What is shockwave? In its simplest form it’s a wave that moves faster than the speed of sound and it carries energy that is sudden in nature, abrupt, and leads to change of pressure and density of the medium.

In physiotherapy we use that acoustic wave to improve the pain or inflammation of your Musculoskeletal tissues, AKA: by changing the density and pressure that bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles have.

What is shockwave used for?

Commonly shockwave is used for Muscle injuries (partial tears, strains), Ligament sprain, tendinopathies (problems with tendons).

However: it doesn’t stop there, shockwave can be used on almost all chronic conditions of the Musculoskeletal system including arthritis, as it helps to change your perception of pain and desensitize the area that it is applied to.

Why is shockwave better than other techniques?

Shockwave is an invasive technique yet is has deeper effect to the injury than any other superficial one. Also, it usually combined with other manual techniques like, Soft tissues release, contractile exercises and mobilization depends on the area treated and the goal to be achieved

How many sessions will i need?

Every case is different in prognosis and number of sessions needed. However, 6 sessions of shockwave should have a noticeable effect on any injury it is used for. Minor planter fasciitis for instance patients usually feel relief after a couple of sessions.

When can’t it be used?

  • Pregnancy
  • Anti-coagulants (dose description is key)
  • Pacemakers
  • Tremors present at the time of application
  • Skin open, abrasion or cut
  • Under 18 (except in the treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease)

When can it be used?

Shockwave can be mainly used in the chronic phase of Musculoskeletal injuries. It can be used in the sub-acute phase. However, the therapist needs to be very cautious and accurate during the application as it can aggravate the inflammation during your period of healing.

You can book online at:

or alternatively you can speak to one of our team directly on 01560 483200.

Understanding the ankle joint

The ankle joint, there are sometimes misconceptions about what the ankle joint actually is so we thought we’d help make sense of this joint in this blog below!

Strictly speaking, your ankle joint is a one dimensional synovial hinge joint that is made up of the talus in the foot and the long bones of the lower leg (tibia and fibula). These bones form the ankle mortise, which allows for just two movements of your ankle. These are called plantar flexion and dorsiflexion (pointing your toe down and pulling the top of your foot up towards your shin respectively).

For example, look down at your foot and begin circling it round and round. This will involve another joint which lies beneath the ankle, the sub-talar joint. It is the joint that is formed between the talus bone and the heel bone (calcaneus). This is actually a two dimensional joint. These bones can be grouped together to be called the rearfoot.

Therefore, when looking a little more closely at your anatomy, we can see that the ankle joint doesn’t rotate, or go sideways. Unless something is seriously wrong!

We consider the ‘ankle’ and the ‘rearfoot’ separately. This helps us to understand the complexities of your foots biomechanics and its movement. Doing so means we can treat the aches/pains and injuries in front of us much more successfully!

If you had problems around your ankle (and/or sub-talar joint!) please get in touch to let us help you understand your issue more clearly and get you on the right path for recovery!

You can book online at:

https://physioflexxayrshire.co.uk/contact/book-online/

or alternatively you can speak to one of our team directly on 01560 483200.

References

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Ankle_Joint

https://www.facebook.com/anatomyinmotion

Lower back pain – Is it really “Sciatica”

Detailed Sciatic nerve

Lower back pain (LBP) is one of the most common complaints we see here at Physioflexx. Furthermore, there are the groups of people that come in complaining of “Sciatica”. Often, this presents you with LBP and referred symptoms into either leg (usually one). The term “Sciatica” can sometimes be loosely thrown around as a diagnosis; either you have described leg and LBP to your GP (commonly on the phone right now), you have enlisted the help of Dr Google, or have spoken to a friend who has had a similar issue and they know it to be Sciatica.

Your expectations play a major role in the treatment and rehab process. Therefore, this blog should hopefully provide you with much needed information and knowledge to better understand the situation you are experiencing and to ultimately better manage it. It goes without saying that if you are experiencing any sort of LBP or into the leg – make sure you get a thorough assessment from a medical health professional.

Unfortunately, the amount and reasons for leg and LBP are vast and multifactorial so it would be difficult to dive into every possible explanation. However, one thing that is possible would be to explain and highlight the ways in which you can be a little more certain that it is the sciatic-type you are experiencing.

LBP – The Sciatic Nerve

Firstly, a little background on the Sciatic nerve. Originating from the nerve roots L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. It is the largest nerve in the body. It branches out deep within the buttock and runs down the back of the thigh all the way to the sole of the foot and is responsible for providing motor and sensory function to the lower body (primarily the back).

3 main types of lower back pain

Injury to the Sciatic nerve can cause 3 main types of pain:

  1. Radicular pain – Radiates from the back and into your hip. Usually felt as sharp severe pain and is felt in a distinct linear path down the back of the leg. This can be caused inflammation or compression of the nerve root itself.
  • Radiculopathy – Refers to injury of the nerve root that stops it from conducting messages to and from the brain. This may lead to motor or sensory deficits such as pins and needles, numbness or muscle weakness.
  • Referred pain – Felt from structures like muscles and joints that usually presents as a diffused ache.
Sciatic Nerve

Lower back pain – Are you sure it’s Sciatica?

So how can you be certain it’s the Sciatic nerve that is irritated and not just muscular aches and pains from holding yourself in a weird position after an episode of LBP? It’s very hard to know yourself, again – seek a thorough assessment – but here are a few tell-tale signs:

  • Pain in the bum…

A large portion of the Sciatic nerve runs through the back of the hip and through the muscles that make up the buttock. Often times diffuse aches originating in the buttock can be misdiagnosed as muscular but could be from the nerve root itself.

  • It’s worse in the leg and below the knee

Typically, with things like muscular or joint related pain, the pain is worst the closest to the area that is affected. Research has shown that in true sciatic presentations, pain experienced is worse in the leg and below the knee.

More symptoms

  • Pain levels are high

Pain severity is very very subjective. Your 9/10 pain might be different to my 9/10 pain. However typically people describe sciatic nerve pain as sharp, excruciating, unbearable pain, and different to a dull achey-type pain. Again, this is not a definite way to tell the difference but it can help give a better understanding of the deeper issue.

  • Motor/Sensory deficits

As already mentioned, sciatic pain – whether a radiculopathy or radicular pain (often can occur simultaneously) – presents with other symptoms aside from pain: pins and needles, numbness, motor loss or muscle weakness, tingling, ants crawling, water running down the leg.

  • Worse with stretching of the nerve

Another point that isn’t a definite but can certainly enhance the understanding of what is going on, people with true sciatic irritation will likely hate putting the nerve on stretch. Things like the straight leg raise or slump test are regular outcome measures we will use in clinic. Sometimes people have sensitive nerves, but certainly if you have sciatic irritation these two tests will not feel comfortable at all.

Book online below

Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

See our other blogs:

Pilates for Back Pain – Physioflexx Ayrshire

Physioflexx – YouTube

H2O – Why you should drink more water?

Water,We all know we should drink it. We probably all know we should take on board 2-3 litres a day (that’s a minimum of 5 pints, or roughly 8 small glasses). However, most of us are probably not managing our recommended intake.

This blog will hopefully give you the knowledge and motivation to push yourself towards that cold tap!

So why can’t we just hydrate with Irn Bru (*other fizzy drinks are available?) Well, excess sugar will create its own barrage of problems (not least diabetes), along with the added sweeteners, empty calories and chemical preservers in various juices. At present, we’ll stick with the benefits of good old tap water. You should note that about 20% of your recommended water intake should come from foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, so no need to drink 12 glasses a day!

We’re lucky enough in Scotland that our water is very drinkable pretty much country-wide. And given that our bodies are made up of cells that are approximately 80% water which needs replenished, it’s a good thing we have such a ready supply.

Cons

Ok so let’s get the cons out of the way first. Why would we choose not to drink enough water?

Drinking enough water may mean you need to empty your bladder more often, which may lead to using unfortunate public conveniences.

Too much water is generally accepted as more than 3-5 litres per day, but that changes with the individual. Drinking too much water can create imbalances in the mineral levels in your body, causing bloating, headaches, inability to concentrate and seizures.

Pros

Now to the good bit. The pros.

8 small glasses a day remains the recommended volume of water to drink

Drinking just the right amount of water helps you:

  • concentrate
  • maintain a regular body temperature
  • keep kidney function at an optimum
  • lubricate and cushion your joints
  • keep your spine healthy by hydrating your intervertebral discs
  • efficiently digest your food
  • maintain frequent healthy bowel movements
  • helps to fight off infections
  • keeps your skin looking bouncy and more youthful

That all sounds pretty useful for the average human. Did you know that water has trace amounts of electrolytes in it? These are elements like magnesium, potassium and sodium which help us function on a basic level – a balanced sodium levels mean you can transmit nerve impulses which keep your muscles functioning, like your heart. So fairly vital.

Here are some signs that your body needs more water:

  • You feel thirsty
  • Warmer weather
  • More active lifestyle
  • Muscles cramping
  • You are a breastfeeding mother
  • You are ill i.e. have a fever, infection, diarrhoea or sickness

Let’s take the last one. Water helps carry oxygen in your blood to your body’s systems and organs. This means our bodies work more efficiently. It also helps serve as a means to evacuate toxins and rid the body of harmful bacteria, which overall means that we fight infections and remain healthier.

So, try picking one pro from the list that inspires you most and get that water bottle filled up. Cheers!

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist, please call Physioflexx on 01560 483200 or book online at the link below:

Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

Cervicogenic headaches

Angry, Stressed, Man, Headache, Danger, Anger, Stress

What is a cervicogenic headache? First you must understand that headaches are very common. There are also many different reasons for an occasional headache. However, if your headache occurs frequently, you could be suffering from Chronic headaches.

Chronic headaches are classed as headaches that occur for at least 15 days per month and for a period of six months or more. They can range from a dull throbbing in your head, to a full-on debilitating migraine-level pain. There are many different types of headache, which we will discuss in more detail below.

What types of headache are there?

Headaches are grouped into three main areas; Primary headaches, Secondary headaches (CGH) and Neuropathies.  

A Primary headache for example, migraine, tension-type headaches and cluster headaches, is when the headache itself is the main problem. It is not a symptom of an underlying disease or condition you may have.

A secondary headache (e.g. cervicogenic headache or CGH) is caused by another condition that triggers pain-sensitive areas in the neck and head.

Lastly, neuropathies, which can cause a headache, these are caused by damage or injury to the nerves that transfer information between the brain and spinal cord from the skin, muscles and other parts of the body.

What is a Cervicogenic headache?

A Cervicogenic Headache (CGH) is a headache caused by a disorder of the cervical spine which refers to the face and head area and usually but not always is accompanied by neck pain. CGH’s are usually triggered by neck movements. Despite clear criteria to classify a cervicogenic headache, it is difficult to diagnose this condition and often is misdiagnosed as a tension headache or migraine.

Where do they occur?

The CGH pain is usually located on one side. Migraines also tend to be unilateral but they can shift from side to side. Tension-type headaches tend to be more diffuse, and people often describe it as a sense of pressure like a headband. CGH’s tend to be non-throbbing and often start in the neck. Tension-type headaches are described as a pressing or tightening pain of mild to moderate intensity. Migraines are described as a pulsating pain.

Stress, Relaxation, Relax, Word, Voltage, Burnout

Sometimes with your CGH you will more likely be presented with a limited range of motion in the neck. Whereas tension headaches and migraines might present with sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines may also have additional symptoms of nausea and vomiting, as well as visual changes.

With your cervicogenic headache, there are several ways to decrease the pain, or get rid of it completely. Physiotherapy can help you to reduce the pain with manual techniques or Acupuncture. This improves your neck’s function and will help you to get back to your normal activities with a specific rehabilitation exercise program. 

Get in touch via our online booking:

Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

See our other blogs:

Caffeine – Physioflexx Ayrshire

Reference:

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Introduction_to_Cervicogenic_Headaches?utm_source=physiopedia&utm_medium=related_articles&utm_campaign=ongoing_internal

Self-mobilisation

What is self-mobilisation? Have you ever had neck or lower back pain? Did you decide to get physiotherapy treatment? Well, you probably had mobilisation during your treatment.

However, before you dig into self-mobilisation and what it is used for. Let’s just quickly give you an idea on what is mobilisation.

Mobilisation is a simple glide of the joint surfaces in relation to one another. This technique was primarily designed by Maitland and developed further through Brian Mulligan who then combined it with movement.

Back Pain, Pain, Body, Backache, Shoulder, Muscle, Work

An example of mobilisation

Let’s assume there is a problem with back bone number 4 (lumber vertebrae L4). Your therapist can do graded mobilisation of your bone in relation to the number 5 to release the structure that lies between these two vertebrae.

For example if you have back pain when leaning forward, your therapist can position you in the same triggering direction and mobilise you this way. By doing this your spine is getting used to the movement, adapting gradually to the position that used to be painful and loosening-up any restrictions that were present in that position due to Pain.

How long does mobilisation take?

Working on one spinal level, the minimum reccommendation of 3 sets at 1 minute each is advided. This is to allow pain reduction, movement re-education and changing your perception of the Pain.

However, mobilisation has many grades. The first two grades are done to relieve your pain. Therefore, if your therapist has done the first two grades then you should feel better after your mobilisation.

What other grades of mobilisation are there?

There are five grades of mobilisation in total. Grades 3 and 4 are most commonly used to increase your range of movement.  The final grade is the manipulation grade, this is charcterised by the sudden movements that usually produce and an audible click.

Can I do mobilisation myself?

Yes! Your self-mobilisation is a very common exercise prescription in physiotherapy. If we continue with the same example as before of pain when you’re bending forwards. You can use a self-mobilisation belt, or even a towel to reproduce the painful movement but pain free. Using the belt at the area of pain will help to support the structure that actively participates in the problem movement and will help you complete that movement pain free.

Back Pain, Pain, Spine, Body, Ache

What is the benefit of making a temporary pain free movement?

When you recreate the pain free movement, you will start to address the problem and it will also change your perception of your body’s relationshipo with pain. The movement that used to be very painful can actually be made with less to no pain. This will change your perception about your problem and should break the apprehension cycle that is always reproduced in that painful position.

Book an initial assessment below:

Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

Read another blog below:

Kinetic Chain Release – Physioflexx Ayrshire

References:

  1.  Manual therapy NAGS,SNAGS,MWMS,etc by Brian R.Mulligan, 5th edition, 2004.
  2. Mulligan Concept – Manual Therapy (bmulligan.com)
  3.  Exelby, Linda. “Peripheral mobilizations with movement.” Manual Therapy 1.3 (1996): 118-126.
  4. T1  – Mulligan Self Mobilization Versus Mulligan Snags on Cervical Position Sense

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

man in white long sleeve shirt

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) is a broad term that describes disorders of the temporomandibular joint (the jaw). It is a condition affecting the movement of the jaw and its associated anatomical structures.

There are numerous conditions and reasons for it causing pain. Inflammatory conditions within the joint (intra- articular) can be caused by direct trauma (like a blow to the chin or jaw). Indirect trauma, like grinding, clenching of the jaw or loss of dental height due to worn down or missing teeth can also be the cause.

The disorder may be out with the joint (extra- articular) due to an imbalance or over-activity of the jaw muscles. Commonly, this will be your muscles of mastication or the neck muscles. Muscle spasm can cause significant pain and limitation to the movement of your jaw.

Neck postural disorders can cause jaw pain. There is a strong correlation between postural dysfunction of the cervical spine and TMD.

Symptoms:

white skull on black surface

Signs of TMD include pain around your jaw, ear and temple with clicking, popping or grinding noises when moving the jaw. You may experience jaw locking when opening the mouth or moving the jaw. Headaches around the temples are very common and mostly presents in one side. Sometimes the pain may be worse not only with jaw moving (chewing) but also due to increased stress.

Top Tips:

Tips to reduce your jaw pain;

  • Soft food diet while your condition is acute. This helps to reduce the pain and swelling more quickly.
  • Avoid activities such as resting the chin on the hand, pencil chewing, jaw clenching whilst awake, wide mouth yawning or nail biting.
  • Avoid chewy foods, chewing gum, eating foods that need a wide opening (like hamburgers) and chewing hard foods (like apples).
  • With signs of sleep bruxism (tooth grinding), an assessment with a dentist would be necessary to decide if occlusal splint would be appropriate for you.

Physiotherapy treatment is very effective in relieving and managing TMD, even when the symptoms are long-standing and severe. Manual therapy techniques are very effective for TMD symptom control and improvement. We can assist with postural education, home exercise programme, advice on good sleep habits including sleeping positions, stress management and diet modification. These techniques are all essential for managing your TMD. Get in touch with us for more information or book an appointment online

woman in black tank top holding white textile

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/temporomandibular-disorder-tmd/

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Temporomandibular_Disorders