Top 5 Fridays! 5 Great Exercises For TMD and Headaches | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Great Exercises For TMD and Headaches

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If you're not marketing to dentists, ENTs, neurologists, etc for TMD, you are missing out on a population that needs our expertise! Remember, even a non painful click is still dysfunctional and often easily corrected before there is threat perception by the CNS.

Here are 5 Great Exercises for TMD and HA - click on the titles to see the videos on my youtube channel!

1) Cervical retractions/nods

  • whether the system is MDT, Mulligan, or any traditional OMPT exercises, most found out targeting the upper cervical area often relieves headaches and/or cervical pain
  • however the question always remains, after OMPT, then what? That's where retractions come in
  • keep the OMPT effect going with repeated self mobilization to the upper cervical spine
  • the mandible elevators are often tonic with active TrPs with referral to commonly symptomatic areas
  • firing the digastrics isometrically repeatedly throughout the day helps along with proper posture to reduce the inferior posterior pull of a forward head
  • the reason why cervical retraction or nods help TMD is that they counteract the inferior posterior pull of a forward head and protract the mandible to a better resting position
  • however, often many TMD patients are very lax scoring 8-9 on the Beighton Scale
  • if cervical retractions are helping with headaches/cervical pain, but not facial pain/tension try this variation with minor (not end range) mandible protraction in a cervical retraction position
  • every TMD patient is a cervical patient, but not every cervical patient is a TMD patient
  • most cervical patients have thoracic dysfunction and research backs up thoracic manipulation to help both the cervical spine and shoulders
  • again, after IASTM, thoracic manipulation, etc... how to keep the reset going? The thoracic whip is a perfect compliment for homework
  • dysfunctional breathing patterns have been found in many cervical, headache, and lumbar patients
  • working on diaphragmatic breathing helps reduce tone where hypertonic, promote core stability and overall relaxation
  • breathing is also a very relaxing thing to instruct and practice while over moist heat on a patient who comes in with allodynia or with a flareup that cannot tolerate movement, OMPT or other treatments
The above exercises along with instructions on compliance to the HEP, sitting with a lumbar roll, frequent movement, proper sleep and dietary limitations (no chew -> soft chew -> regular chew - over 2-3 months) will definitely help your average TMD patient.

Want to know more? Book an Eclectic Approach to TMD, or watch in upcoming on MedBridge Education in the fall!

Keeping it Eclectic...


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