It seems that during the recent period of the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdown, there has been an increase in people suffering the effects of TMJ/TMD. I did a quick survey yesterday on my facebook page asking who had any of the following symptoms and within a couple of hours I had over 40 responses. They can be anything from a huge range some of which are obvious and some not so:
• Jaw, face, neck, and shoulder issues
• Headaches of varying intensity, especially in the area around the temples
• Popping, clicking, or grating noises in the jaw joint
• Deep jaw discomfort
• Difficulty opening your mouth, speaking or manipulating the jaw from side to side
• Dizziness or vertigo
• Earache without the presence of infection
• ‘Glop in the throat’ a sensation of something being stuck that wont go down.
• Unevenly worn teeth;
• Twitching of the face or eye muscles;
• Disordered sleep.
• Photosensitivity and sensitive to certain sounds
• Bruxism (teeth grinding)
• Trismus (difficulty opening mouth normally)
Extra stress due to home schooling, money worries, fear of COVID, isolation or the opposite and simply a workspace set up at the kitchen table can all exacerbate the syndrome. The post effects of having the virus can also increase pain and discomfort, continuous coughing, breathing difficulties and the ventilator are all going to have an effect on the jaw and its soft tissues.
During lockdown people have been unable to access their usual massage and therapies and as I was also unable to see my patients, I decided to venture online. I was mainly teaching facial exercises and simple trigger point release via zoom, which much to my surprise, turned out to be the perfect platform. There is a clear face to face view and a high level of focus. Once we got over the initial aversion to being on screen, rather than hands on, then it was a success. Plus, we were able to see great results due to a high commitment level. Its wonderful now to be back treating patients but I will continue to teach and connect online. This can be in addition to a usual hand on treatment or if someone is still reluctant to travel then it’s a very successful way to help relieve uncomfortable symptoms. It’s also an invaluable way to really integrate some new and good habits into busy lifestyles. Contact me for more details Lynn@lynnrae.co.uk and also www.tmjtherapyuk.co.uk