Initial Treatment Approaches
At Michigan Head & Neck Institute, our approach to treating TMJ disorders starts with conservative, non-invasive methods. These initial treatments are designed to alleviate symptoms with minimal side effects and form the foundation of our TMJ management plan.
An orthotic device, like a mouthguard, balances the jaw and maintains it comfortably. Initially, patients wear the orthotic full-time, reducing usage as their condition improves.
This includes exercises, massaging the area around the joint, and applying heat. In addition to manual techniques, we utilize TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) for muscle relaxation and pain relief.
Behavioral therapy aims to help patients avoid habits that exacerbate TMJ and develop healthier practices. We provide referrals to behavioral therapists or psychologists when necessary, especially if psychological factors contribute to TMJ symptoms.
Trigger Point Injections
This involves administering a slight anesthetic at key pain points to deactivate trigger points and provide relief. This technique is particularly effective in relieving TMJ pain and is a specialty of Dr. Klein, honed over decades of practice.
These initial treatments often yield significant improvement for many patients. However, if symptoms persist or the condition does not improve as expected, it may indicate the need for a more intensive treatment approach. In some cases, we recommend moving on to “Phase II,” but many times, we recommend further refinement of our current techniques.