How Trigger Point Injections Can Relieve Temporomandibular Jaw (TMJ) Pain

TMJ pain, Temporomandibular joint disorders

Temporomandibular joint disorders, which are collectively called “TMJ,” affect millions of people in the United States to varying degrees — from mild sporadic pain to constant agony. One of the largest hurdles in treating these joint and muscle disorders is that the targets are (quite literally) moving, not to mention highly complex. But we’re not lacking in treatments to effectively relieve TMJ pain, and trigger point injections are among the best for achieving this.

At Advanced Medical Physicians, under the experienced leadership of Dr. James Sheehan, we offer the latest advancements in treating painful disorders like TMJ. From regenerative medicine to trigger point injections, our goal is to help our patients in Newark, Delaware, find long-lasting solutions to chronic pain and restore their quality of life.

If you’d like to explore how trigger point injections work to relieve TMJ pain, keep on reading.

Behind TMJ pain

As we mentioned above, TMJ disorders are tricky because of the location and complexity of your jaw joints.

Your temporomandibular joints are hinge joints that connect your lower and upper jaws. Unlike many hinge joints, however, these ones allow for a wide range of movements. In fact, take a moment to open your mouth wide and then move your jaw from side to side. As you can feel, it’s far from a straightforward hinge.

To allow this wide range of motion, your TMJs rely on a host of unique bones, discs, and muscles to keep your jaw gliding smoothly and in place.

When a TMJ disorder crops up, it’s typically caused by:

It’s also fairly common to have one problem snowball into another with your jaw joint. For example, if you have a problem in your discs, your muscles are thrown out of balance, which then adds to your discomfort.

Whatever the underlying cause, TMJ pain can plague your waking and sleeping hours. So how do you find relief from this type of pain?

Trigger point injections provide relief

Trigger point injections are a highly effective pain management technique that addresses and relieves muscle spasms right at their source. If your TMJ disorder involves myofascial pain, we locate where your muscles are the most tight and release the tissue using an injection.

Trigger point injections typically go to work quickly, providing you with almost immediate relief from TMJ pain. Depending on your condition, the shot may contain: steroids for inflammation, saline solution, and a local anesthetic. The steroids are long-acting, as they work to keep the inflammation down and keep the pain at bay.

If you have an issue with either the anesthetic or the corticosteroid, we can also administer “dry” trigger point injections, in which we simply insert a needle into your muscle knot to release the tension.

During and after treatment

Trigger point injections are fairly simple, and we administer them right in our offices. For your comfort, we can apply a topical anesthetic before injecting the appropriate areas. You may need several injections, depending upon the extent of the muscle involvement.

The duration of results varies from person to person, so it’s hard to say how long the trigger point injections will provide you with relief. The good news is, the process is so simple that, should the pain return, you can easily come back for another round of treatment.

If you’d like to put an end to TMJ pain, call us to learn how trigger point injections may be just the solution you’re looking for. You can also set up a free consultation using our online booking tool.

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