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IMS and Jaw Pain

| August 30, 2013 | Reply

TMJ Physio

If you are experiencing TMJ or jaw pain, you may be a candidate for intramuscular stimulation (IMS).  IMS is a fast and effective way to treat your jaw pain.

 What causes the pain? 

TMJ pain occurs as a result of problems with the jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving your jaw.  Injuries to the jaw or upper neck, arthritis, and teeth grinding are common causes.  Often, the disc inside the TMJ joint can be the specific source of noise and pain in the jaw.  The disc has a muscle attached to it which controls the disc’s movement on the bones when you open and close your jaw.  If the muscle is in a state of spasm, it can pull on the disc and throw the movement out of alignment, producing pain and discomfort while yawning or eating hard foods.

 What can you do? 

Treatments for the jaw involve relaxing the muscle that is pulling on the disc.  One approach could involve your primary health provider sticking his/her hands in your mouth to release muscle spasm.  Another, approach is IMS.

 What is IMS? 

IMS involves inserting a thin acupuncture needle into the muscle (on the outside of the jaw, not through the mouth!).  This triggers the muscle to contract at 100% which is followed by a 100% relaxation.  With the muscles completely relaxed, they “reset” and stop pulling on the disc, having an almost immediate reduction in pain.

 What should I expect? 

The IMS needles themselves do not hurt, but when the muscle contracts you can feel some minor temporary discomfort.  Typically, the bigger the contraction, the more effective the treatment will be, and the more treatment discomfort you might feel.  Most people may be sore for only a few hours to a day after IMS.  However, the benefit is that you can expect to feel much better!

 How many sessions do I need? 

Typically three to six IMS treatments are all that are necessary.

 Is IMS right for me? 

If you have jaw pain, difficulty opening your mouth, painful clicking, and/ or have been assessed as having TMJ or TMD (temporomandibular disorder), you may be a potential candidate for IMS.  Call Capilano Rehabilitation Centre today at 780-466-1104 to book an assessment to see if IMS can help you.

 

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Category: physiotherapy

About the Author ()

Brent Kassian is the Executive Director of Capilano Rehab Centre.

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