All Posts tagged TMJ

Chiropractic & Chronic Pain

I practice more than just Chiropractic. I coined the term the POLITE Method

  • P is for Protect you from further pain and injury; create a Plan for healing; and Prevention from future episodes
  • OL is for Optimal Loading; this means adding gentle movements that don’t overload or hurt you.
  • I is for Ice or Instruments (laser, shockwave, deep muscle stimulation (DMS), etc.)
  • T is for Technology / Taping
  • E is for Education, Eating, Exercise and Ergonomics

The “P” reminds me to tell the patient the plan to get rid of pain and inflammation and discuss prevention strategies. This includes protecting the painful area, providing education and my prescription. I explain my plan, and offer ideas and suggestions on how they can protect the spine or involved area. I explain the services I can provide to help improve posture and achieve a positive outcome.

The “OL” stands for optimal loading. This means don’t overload the tissue structures, but at the same time, don’t underload them, either. Movement is important especially for sports medicine. I provide the patient with corrective exercises they can do to help heal properly.

The “I” reminds me to talk about the instruments or implements I can and will use as part of the treatment for inflammation; not just ice, but also physical therapy modalities such as acoustic shockwave, lasers, lymphatic drainage, deep muscle stimulation and other soft-tissue therapies. I also use nutrition and a body composition analysis machine, which help to guide my weight-loss programs.

The “T” reminds me to offer Taping (kinesiology and athletic taping). Taping is just part of the treatment right now.

The “E” stands for exercise, education, eating and ergonomics. Adding these components to care has a high patient value, is quality care and helps reduce the risk of future episodes.

More

General Nutrition for TM Disorders

EC Matrixx™ 3-6 capsules daily with food. 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.

 

More

What I Do…

I often hear my clients say “I don’t know what to call you: a Physical Therapist, a Chiropractor, a nutritionist?” because I don’t just perform traditional Chiropractic manipulation. I also often get asked “What is my approach called?” First and foremost I see myself as a teacher. I teach procedures and methods to help my clients get out of pain, I teach corrective exercise plans, and nutrition and diet plans. I love using my skills in manual therapy, rehabilitation exercise, and nutrition to focus on solving my clients health issues and concerns. I see the full value in mixing all of the traditional health approaches and alternative health approaches into intelligent health methods.

My approach to each client is not a cookbook. I focus on finding the source of each client’s pain – evaluating posture, the joints, the muscles, the fascia, and diet. My evaluation is individualized and personalized, but not a cookbook. I systematically examine my clients for 1) muscle trigger points (tender points within muscles that can cause pain); 2) joints that have too little motion and joints that have too much motion and 3) nutritional deficiencies. This takes time and patience on my part and my client’s part. My first office examination takes about one hour and follow up visits are 30 minutes. I need to test what we are finding, and treat the key under- or overactive muscle. One visit we may concentrate on your breathing to see how well your diaphragm is moving; another visit may find us concentrating on an upper neck dysfunction; another session may find us teaching you how to activate a core muscle deficit; or another session we may learn exercises for a low back instability.

Most importantly, you will learn to participate in your own recovery. This is the basis of my rehabilitation approach! I will be checking your soft tissues and probably using the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS) or warm laser as part of my treatments; I will check your core; your feet; and even your TMJ (jaw).

I have had some amazing mentors and teachers and I will blend what I have learned over being in practice for 27 years to guide our treatment. This is what separates me from what most others do. I don’t just focus on the site of symptoms, I look at the whole body.

When you are ready I can teach you how to use the foam roll on your dense and tight muscles; strength training with kettlebells, & flexibility and stretching exercises. If you need weight loss, I am happy to help you reach your goals. Please feel free to send this information to your friends.

More

Treatments Performed By Dr. Tucker

Below you will find techniques utilized in my treatments.
• Joint Mobilization and Manipulation
o Promotes improved joint mobility and range of motion using a variety of treatment philosophies including: PNF, McKenzie, Mulligan, Muscle Energy, Janda, Comerford, Sahrmann.
• Soft Tissue Mobilization
o Mobilization of the skin, muscle, nerve, and fascial layers to break down scar tissue and adhesions. This is also known as transverse friction technique. I frequently use the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS) to achieve soft tissue mobilization.
• Myofascial Release
o Deep tissue palpation and fascial release to promote fascial stretch/gliding and muscle relaxation based on the work of Tom Myers.
o If a muscle is in spasm it can lead to imbalances such as leg length discrepancies or rotation/obliquities in the pelvis, hips or shoulders. I use the Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS) as part of my practice for myofascial release.
• Trigger Point Release
o Deep palpation to promote muscle relaxation in an area of hyper-irritability and contracture. This is also known as “ischemic compression” or trigger point therapy.
• Dynamic muscular release
o Deep palpation to the origin (attachment site) of a muscle as the patient contracts to engage in the muscles intended action.
o Promotes improved muscle function.
o Can eliminate musculoskeletal imbalance.
• Neuromobilization (as taught by Dr. Kim Christensen)
o AKA “Flossing” or “Gliding.”
o Helps decrease inflammation in nerves.
o Breaks up adhesions around nerves that result from inflammation.
o Can eliminate the sensation of “pins and needles”, “weakness” or “numbness and tingling”.
• Therapeutic exercise and activities
o Corrective exercises with the intent to decrease pain, improve injury prevention, muscle recruitment, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
o Promotes proper technique in performing functional activities (example: lifting weights, gait, posture).
• Gait training and mechanics
o Analysis of walking to optimize form and make sure that your gait is not a repetitive trauma.
• Neuromuscular training
o Enhances the function of the body by balancing the muscle activation patterns about a joint.
• Free weight training for weight loss and osteoporosis prevention
o Specific exercise prescription based on your individual body type.
• Balance training
o Decreases fall risk.
o Improves coordination for increased performance.
• Core trunk stabilization training
o Improves the recruitment of specific muscle groups that stabilize the hip, pelvis and lumbar spine.

Some specialty treatments include:
• Temporomandibular treatments.
• Scar/tissue, capsular adhesion mobilization.
• Diet, nutrition, vitamin recommendations.

More

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

More

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.

More

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.

More