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Do I Have Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder?

TMJ is a collective term for a broad range of disorders displaying a variety of signs – radiating pain in the face, neck, or shoulders; limited movement or locking of the jaw; painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth; and a significant change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. Other common symptoms include headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems, and difficulty swallowing.

The Jaw Symptom Questionnaire consists of the following questions:

? Does it hurt when you open wide to yawn?
? Does it hurt when you chew or use the
jaws?
? Does it hurt when you’re not chewing or
using the jaws?
? Is your pain worse upon waking?
? Do you have pain in front of the ear, or
earaches?
? Do you have jaw muscle or cheek pain?
? Do you have pain in the temples?
? Do you have pain or soreness in the teeth?
? Do your jaws make noise so that it
bothers you or others?
? Do you find it difficult to open your mouth
wide?
? Does your jaw ever get stuck/lock as you
open it?
? Does your jaw ever lock open so that you
cannot close it?
? Is your bite uncomfortable?

In my experience if a patient answers more than three of the above questions they will benefit by education, an anti-inflammatory home care program including dietary changes, nutritional supplements, heat or ice applications, avoidance of mechanically stressful activities, and resting the jaw (practice the “lips apart and jaws relaxed” procedure).

In office treatment that I provide include: warm laser, soft-tissue therapy and specific muscle massage. I also train clients in corrective exercise therapy.

General Nutrition for TM Disorders

• EC Matrixx™ is a mechanism-specific formula designed to support healthy connective tissues by supporting the extracellular matrix, a key structural component of connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Features berberine and tetrahydro iso-alpha acids (THIAA), which have been shown in laboratory research to influence MMP-13, an enzyme involved in the maintenance of connective tissue structure.
THIAA has also been shown to beneficially influence multiple cellular signaling processes related to connective tissue health.
Supports biochemical processes that influence the health of the extracellular
matrix.
• Chondro-Relief Intensive Care — 3-6 capsules daily with food. Joint & soft tissue support with MSM, Green Lipped Mussel, Hyaluronic Acid and ASU.
• Inflavonoid Intensive Care — 3-9 tablets daily with meals. For relief of minor pain.
• E-Complex 1:1 — 2-4 softgels daily. 1:1 ratio of alpha and gamma tocopheryls.

Order at www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com

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LASER TREATMENT

Dr. Tucker says “One of the major goals of my treatment is to increase the blood flow and oxygen content to the tissues and that helps to reduce pain”. Cells and tissues that have a poor blood supply and low oxygen content as a result of inflammation, swelling/edema, and injury have been shown to have a significantly higher response to warm laser therapy than normal healthy structures.
Applicable conditions of laser therapy
1. Low back pain
2. Wound healing
3. Dermatological conditions
4. Temporo-mandibular Joint Dysfunction
5. Frontal and maxillary sinus inflammation
6. Rotator Cuff injuries
7. Epicondylitis (elbow pain)
8. Small joints of the hands
9. Trigeminal Neuralgia
10. Bell’s Palsy
11. Neck pain

Laser is used for sports injury, back problems, neurological conditions, wound/post surgical healing, fracture healing, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, soft tissue therapy, wounds, burns, arthritis, strains, tendonitis, temporary increase in local blood circulation, relief of minor muscle & joint aches, pain & stiffness, relaxation of muscles, & muscle spasms.

Laser therapy has been shown to: stimulate cell growth; increase cell metabolism; improve cell regeneration; produce an anti-inflammatory response; produce an edema (swelling) reduction; reduce fibrous (scar) tissue formation; stimulate nerve function; reduce the production of substance P (a pain producing chemical); stimulate long-term production of nitric oxide; decrease the formation of bradikynin, histamine and acetylcholine (painful chemicals); and stimulate the production of endorphins. Dr. Tucker finds “These responses are responsible for the pain-relieving effects often observed in patients treated with laser therapy”.
Tucker says, “Laser therapy influence the cells at the molecular level to improve healing”. The result is rapid regeneration, normalization and healing of damaged cellular tissue. This painless warm light therapy is a trigger for improving metabolism.
Dr. Tucker uses class IV laser therapy approved by the FDA with the highest wavelength for deeper penetration. Penetration is paramount in order to stimulate deep musculoskeletal, vascular, lymphatic and neurological structures.
He uses the top healing and pain reduction modalities available today. Dr. Tucker’s unique treatments not only include laser therapy, he also uses the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS), exercise therapy and First Line Therapy nutritional recommendations.
“The most common musculoskeletal conditions I treat are neck pain and low-back pain”. The most common generators of pain in the cervical regions are the zygapophyseal joints of the neck in acute (traumatic) and chronic neck pain conditions. Several authors have reported the most common tissue of pain origin in the low back to be the outer layer of the disc. Given that the depth of these painful structures lies below multiple layers of muscle and fascia, Tucker uses a therapeutic laser device that has the ability to penetrate multiple layers of tissue.
Treatment plans include:
• Sports Medicine Laser Therapy.
• Painless laser therapy sessions (You must feel it to see why).
• Specialized plans for chronic pain relief.
• Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS) massage.
• Exclusive 30-minutes sessions directly with Dr. Tucker.
• No long term commitment treatment plans. You can be done with care.
• Specialized Corrective Exercise Training.
• Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy for misdiagnosed pain.
• Nutritional & weight loss advice.
• Performance Enhancement.
What is High Power Deep Tissue Laser Therapy?
Laser Therapy is a non-invasive, safe, and effective treatment modality where light is used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing and soft tissue repair. Most therapy lasers on the market today have a power range from 5mw to 500mw, making them a cold laser. Our laser will emit a power range from 1000mw to 10,000mw, making this a high-power heat deep tissue laser that can put an end to your pain fast!

You get better FAST!

How is the treatment done?
The laser is placed in contact with the skin allowing the healing energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular bio-molecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell function. This also enhances the body’s natural healing processes. In essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy.

The result; normal cell functions are restored. The process results in a disappearance of symptoms and increases the speed at which your body heals.

Other Effects; the immune system response is stimulated, lymphatic drainage is improved, production of growth hormone is increased, & the body’s natural healing process are enhanced.

FAQ’s

What does laser therapy have over other forms of therapy?
It does not require the use of drugs or surgery, there are less side effects or risks, and it is quick and convenient. Studies have shown that it is equal to or more effective than other forms of physical therapy. Pain relief is often immediate.

Does it hurt? What does the treatment feel like?
There is a warm heat sensation during treatment. Clients work with me to make sure the temperature is not too hot. There is no pain associated with the treatment. Laser treatment is relaxing and you welcome to ‘dose off’ during the session or we can talk during the session. Occasionally it occurs that pain can increase or begin 6-24 hours after a treatment session. This is because the laser light starts the healing process. This type of pain is particularly likely to arise when the health problems are chronic in their nature. It usually subsides after a few days but can, in rare cases, last longer.

How long does the treatment take?
The typical course of treatment is 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. Acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain. More chronic problems respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week. Treatment plans are determined on an individual basis.

How many treatments does it take?
This depends on the nature of the condition being treated. For some acute conditions, 3 to 6 treatments may be sufficient. More chronic conditions may require 6-12 sessions. Conditions such as severe arthritis may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.

How long before results are felt?
You may feel improvement in your condition (usually pain reduction) after the very first treatment. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 2 to 4 sessions. If you don’t notice relief with the laser, I will add the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS) to your therapy. Depending on your condition I may start with the DMS first.

Are the results long lasting?
Therapeutic Laser Therapy is about healing. It’s not about masking or covering up a condition. When you feel better from this therapy… it’s because you are better. Therefore results have been found to be quite long lasting.

Can it be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment?
Yes, laser therapy is even more effective when combined with other forms of therapy, including physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, soft tissue mobilization, electrotherapy, and following surgery. I combine our warm laser therapy with specialized corrective exercise techniques to relieve your pain fast!

Is it a cold laser treatment?
NO! Our laser is a Class-4 Deep Tissue Laser with much deeper penetrating power. No cold laser on the market today can come close to the fast-acting therapeutic effects of our Class-4 device. Chronic pain relief and hard-to-fix cases are my specialty. I have many patient’s who have tried cold laser therapy with no success and with just ONE Class IV heat laser treatment they start feeling better. All lasers are not the same.

How do I know if laser therapy is right for me?
I will evaluate your condition and perform a complete functional examination to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Call us to schedule your evaluation and Q&A session. The only way to know is to try a course of therapy.

Can laser therapy be used over medical implants or over metal?
Yes, laser therapy is a light treatment. No heating is involved with the surgical or metal implants. It can be used safely with no side effects. It is extremely effective for post-operative wound healing. Many hip and knee replacement patients see us for care.

Is it covered by medical insurance?
Some insurance covers the procedure, but not many. Most patients who decide to receive the benefits of laser therapy are sick and tired of being sick and tired, so they choose to seek this effective method of treatment on their own. Price is usually not a consideration when you have been suffering for so long.

The average course of therapy in our facility is just 10 visits. Other facilities with cold lasers can reach 20 or more visits. So you get better faster, which saves you money on additional insurance co-pays and deductibles.

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TMJ Exercises

Joint/Muscle Relaxation

Place tongue on roof of mouth as far back as possible. Slowly open mouth as far as possible, tongue on the roof.

Repeat 20 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete as needed daily.

Lateral Glide (Isometric)

Place two fingers on right side of jaw. Resist movement of jaw to same side. Relax. Repeat on opposite side.

Hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete as needed daily.

Protrusion (Isometric)

Place two fingers on chin. Resist forward movement of chin. Relax. Repeat.

Hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete as needed daily.

Opening (Isometric)

Place fist below jaw. Resist downward movement of chin. Hold. Relax.

Hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete as needed daily.

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Posture & Low Load Exercises

Scapular Retraction

Lie with your upper arms straight out to the sides, elbows bent 90°. Pinch shoulder blades together and raise arms level with floor. Keep shoulders down.

Hold for 2 breaths.
Repeat 20 times per set.
Three sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

March

Tighten stomach and slowly raise right leg and lower opposite arm over head. Keep trunk rigid, back flat and hips level.

Hold for 2 breaths.
Repeat 20 times per side, per set.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

One Leg Bridging

With legs bent, lift buttocks so hips are level and elevated. Then slowly extend one leg; keep thighs level and stomach tight.

Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 2 times per set.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Lower Abs

Bend both knees, feet together on floor and stomach tight. Slowly lower one knee to the side and return.

Repeat 50 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

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Anti-Aging Exercises

One Leg Stand

Attempt to balance on one leg, with eyes closed. Shoes off!

Hold for 20 seconds.
Repeat 3 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Step Down/Step Up

Stand on chair or 18″ stool. Slowly bend right leg, lowering other foot to the floor. Return by straightening front leg.

Repeat 20 times per set.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Deep Squat

Stand with feet shoulder/hip width apart. Squat deeply, as far as you can. Keep head and chest up and heels on the floor.

Build up to 50 squats per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Opposite Arms/Knees

Lie on back with feet flat, arms straight up and palms together. Slowly rotate head and hips to one side, arms and shoulders to the opposite side. Feet will fall to the side following knees and hips.

Repeat 20 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete 2 sessions per day.

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Shoulder Rehabilitation

12 O’clock Arm Raises

Lie face down with arms forward. Lower shoulder blades and raise both arms as high as possible. Be sure to keep arms in the “I” position.

Hold for 1-2 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
Three sets per session.
Complete 2 sessions per day.

10 & 2 O’clock Arm Raises

With or without weights, arms are in a 10 and 2 o’clock position. Lift/raise both outstretched arms as far as possible. Be sure to lower the scapula when performing this exercise.

Hold for 1-2 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
Three sets per session.
Complete 2 sessions per day.

3 & 9 O’clock Arm Raises

With or without weights, arms are in a 3 and 9 o’clock position. Raise both outstretched arms as far as possible. Keep the scapula down while performing this exercise.

Hold for 1-2 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
Three sets per session.
Complete 2 sessions per day.

Wall Angels

Stand against wall, upper arms at shoulder level and elbows bent to 90°. Raise arms over head keeping arms, forearms and hands against wall.

Hold for 2 breaths.
Repeat 10 times per set.
Two sets per session.
Complete 2-3 sessions per day.

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Neck Pain Exercises

Neck Flexors

With a rolled towel under neck, gently nod the chin without lifting the head.

Hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 3 sessions per day.

Neck Extensors

With hands grasping the base of the neck, extend the chin as far as possible.

Hold for 3-4 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 3 sessions per day.

Neck/Pelvis Rotation

Feet and knees together with arms outstretched. Rotate knees to one side, turning head in the opposite direction until a stretch is felt. Repeat on other side.

Hold for 3-4 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete 3 sessions per day.

Upper Trapezius Stretch

Gently grasp right side of head while reaching behind back with other hand. Tilt head away until a gentle stretch is felt.

Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 2 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1-3 sessions per day.

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Low Back Pain Exercises

Press Up

Relax the buttock and abdomen; fully extend elbows and press up.

Hold for 3-4 seconds.
Repeat 10 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 3 sessions per day.

Piriformis Stretch

Lie on your back with knees bent. Cross one leg so the ankle rests across the opposite knee. If wanting an added stretch gentle move bent leg toward chest; hold stretch by holding leg under knee. Keep your back flat.

Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 1 time per set.
Two sets per side, per session.
Complete as often as needed daily.

Bridge Up & Down

Draw the stomach in and squeeze buttocks as tight as possible. Move the pelvis up and down. If you begin feeling pain in your lower back, pause and start the exercise over again.

Hold for 2 seconds.
Repeat until fatigue.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Opposite Arm/Opposite Leg (On All Fours)

Tighten stomach and raise right leg and opposite arm. Keep hips level and draw the abdomen in as tight as you can.

Hold for 2 breaths.
Repeat 30 to 50 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete 2 sessions per day.

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Office Stretches

One Arm Overhead Reach

Slide arm up wall, with thumb pointed toward opposite wall; lean thru a doorway while simultaneously reaching up to the sky.

Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 2 times per side, per set.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Forearm Stretch

With palms resting comfortably on a table, gently lean forward over hands. Repeat with fingers pointing toward body.

Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 2 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete as often as needed per day.

Elbow Flexion Stretch

Bring arm over head and bend elbow as far as possible. Grasp wrist with other hand and gently pull downward. Be sure not to pull neck forward and keep back straight.

Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 2 times per set.
One set per session.
Complete as often as needed per day.

Backward Bend (Standing)

Arch back to make hollow of back deeper. Place hands on small of back. Go back as far as possible with no discomfort.

Hold for 2 breaths.
Repeat 10 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete as often as needed per day.

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Improve Balance Exercises

Arch Up (Prone)

Lying on your stomach with hands along your side, palms facing up. Lift head and torso off the floor as high as possible and look up toward the ceiling. After holding for two breaths rotate head so looking toward the floor again and release the pose.

Hold for 2 breaths.
Repeat 10 times per session.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Opposite Arm/Opposite Leg (On All Fours)

Tighten stomach and raise right leg and opposite arm. Keep hips level and stomach very tight and drawn in.

Hold for two breaths.
Repeat 20 times per side, per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Thoracic Extensions

With or without weights, raise both arms in the “I” position, “Y”position and “T” position.

Repeat 10 times per set.
Two sets per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

Deep Squat

Stand with feet shoulder/hip width apart. Squat deeply trying to keep heels on the floor. Keep head and chest up.

Build up to 50 squats per set.
One set per session.
Complete 1 session per day.

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