The Management Of TMD Pain
When it comes to managing the pain of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) it can sometimes be quite confusing as to what should be done. For so many patients who suffer from this disorder, many simply take medications to manage their pain. Common pain medications include ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Advil and Tylenol). Singularly, these drugs work fairly well in managing pain, but did you know that if you took one Tylenol with one Advil, they could have the same effect as a narcotic, and is often more effective than most narcotics in pain management. Because this effect is becoming more well known, you can even find this combination of drug on many store shelves these days.
The better method is appliance therapy. As a patient gets comfortable to their TMD appliances, their body oftentimes will go through changes, and sometimes these changes can be quite uncomfortable and even painful. Usually the pain is quite manageable, but for the more advanced cases it can be difficult to handle. This is why so many patients are co-treated often with the physical therapist or and osteopath. As the patient adapts to their new appliances, the physical therapist or osteopath can work on the head and neck regions of the body to help as their body re-aligns. When wearing TMD appliances, the neck will often begin to re-align and this process can be uncomfortable, especially if the neck has been out of alignment for a very long time. All this is very normal.
Another avenue of pain management involves the use of laser therapy and oftentimes combined with massage treatment as well. The patients who experience this level of treatment often report they are very relaxed and have less pain at the end of their session with the therapist. The laser used for this therapy is a remarkably efficient device that greatly reduces pain in the head and neck region and leaves the patient with a warm feeling for quite some time.
A relative newcomer to the arena of pain management is the Neubie device. This is a DC current electrical stimulation device that gently pulses the muscles of the entire body to create a feeling of wellbeing along with increased range of motion and decreased full body pain. There are many cases of patients who were prepared for surgery such as rotator cuff surgery who ended up not needing this surgery after several Neubie sessions. The device helps to re-train the brain into realizing that a previously remembered painful experience no longer needs to be recognized as painful, which greatly helps to increase range of motion.
Other avenues of pain management include dry needling and acupuncture. The two are somewhat similar and many patients report that the effect lasts for several days after a session. Another pain treatment that is useful but underutilized is something called Chi Kung or Qi Gong. This is an ancient Chinese meditation technique that reduces pain.
There are these and many more techniques to help manage TMD pain.