The Tulsa Orofacial Pain & Sleep Disorders Clinic - Terry R. Bennett, D.M.D.

1616 S. Denver
Tulsa, OK 74119

918-582-8651

Physical Medicine

The Tulsa TMJ and Orofacial Pain Center employs a variety of physical medicine modalities to expedite the treatment of TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) and Orofacial Pain.

Physical Medicine treatments are used primarily in conjunction with orthotic splint therapy, and can help the patient return to good health more quickly than using traditional splint therapy by itself.

First, the source of the pain or problem is determined based on responses to questions, examination, and possibly X-Rays. Based on the results, a recommendation is made as to the best course of action necessary to provide the quickest and most effective relief of pain.

The therapies listed below are small introductions into the various physical therapy treatments offered at Tulsa TMJ and Orofacial Pain Center. While all of the treatments are available, Dr. Bennett will tailor the specific physical therapy to be used based on each patient’s needs. If you have questions or would like to know more about any of the therapy methods listed below, please call or contact us.

Cold (Low level) Therapy Laser - This is a newer treatment protocol, which uses a laser (non-warm/non-cutting) to increase blood supply to the treated area and, in turn, helps to decrease inflammation. The decrease in inflammation helps to alleviate symptoms of the affected area. Laser treatment is also useful in treating acute and chronic muscle spasms, muscle pain, and bone and ligament pain. This is one of the least invasive options in helping the body to heal itself.

Ultrasound - uses sound waves to bring healing and relief to the damaged joint and muscles. Alternating sound waves bring thermal (heat) and non-thermal effects to the damaged connective tissue.

Iontophoresis - Treatment using iontophoresis delivers a medicine transdermally (across the skin) using a small electrical charge. The medicine, contained in a pouch, is gently delivered across the skin to the affected area. Think of this treatment as an injection without the needle.

Trigqer Point Injections - Muscles that stay in a contracted state, like those that are in pain or spasm, form nodules that are called trigger points. Often, these points can cause referred pain (pain in another part of the body). Dr. Bennett, through the use of an injection, can go directly to these nodules of painful muscles to deliver direct therapy causing the muscles to relax, which relieves the muscle pain.

Spray and Stretch - A therapeutic exercise utilizing a cold liquid spray to numb the muscles that are causing problems. Then, a series of exercises are performed to increase mobility in the jaw and help the patient open wider. This method is primarily used when muscles are in dystrophy (weak or degenerative state).

Joint lnjections - A steroid injection directly into the jaw joint space. This method is rarely used except when needed for jaw joints that are hyper inflamed. The steroid, usually cortisone, can bring immediate relief by quickly reducing inflammation.

Nerve Block Injections - Primarily used on patients whose jaw has been locked closed for an extended amount of time. The practitioner will inject the jaw joint extra orally (outside of the mouth) to numb the area. The doctor then performs a series of exercises to coax the top of the jaw over the disc, thus allowing the jaw to open and become unlocked.

TENS - Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation delivers low frequency electrical stimulation to the nerves of painful areas. This can desensitize the muscles allowing them to stop painful contractions and relax.

Electroqalvanic Stimulation - Strictly a post-surgical treatment in which a direct electrical current is applied to the area. This stimulates the nerve and muscle groups, which aids wound healing time. The patient feels a slight tingling while the current is applied the area being treated.

Prolotherapy - Sometimes, ligaments in the jaw joint become stretched to the point that the body cannot tighten them without external help. Prolotherapy is an injection of saline and dextrose (sugar), which causes a mild inflammation. This inflammation triggers the body to respond to this area, sending healing cells to the site of inflammation, which in turn helps tighten the ligaments.

 

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