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MSD Manual

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Physical Therapy for Jaw Muscles

Physical Therapy for Jaw Muscles

  • Ultrasound is a method of delivering deep heat to painful areas. When warmed by the ultrasound, the blood vessels dilate, and the blood can more quickly carry away accumulated muscle waste products that may cause pain.

  • Electromyographic biofeedback monitors muscle activity with a gauge. The person attempts to relax the entire body or a specific muscle while watching the gauge. In this way, the person learns to control or relax particular muscles.

  • Spray-and-stretch exercises involve spraying a skin refrigerant or applying ice over the painful area, so the jaw muscles can be stretched open.

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) involves using a device that stimulates the nerve fibers that do not transmit pain. The resulting impulses are thought to block the painful impulses that the person has been feeling.