InTouch Body Therapy

Mind :: Body :: Spirit

Jaw Pain is the Result of TMJ Issues

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Joint issues (TMJ issues) are brought about by problems affecting the jaw. One of the main symptoms of TMJ issues is pain in the jaw. This pain can extend to the muscles of the face around the jaw as well as the neck and shoulders. Although the main symptom of TMJ issues is pain the jaw, areas such as the ear also experience some pain and discomfort when one opens the mouth wide, chews food or even talks.

The jaw can also get stuck as a result of TMJ issues. It can get locked into place if one opens their mouth very wide. It can also get locked into place when one closes their mouth and clenches the jaws together. The jaws can experience pain if the TMJ issues are caused by arthritis. This disease can affect various bones and joints in the body. If it affects the temporomandibular joint, then the jaws will experience pain and discomfort. In some cases, this can be severe. In a case where one has TMJ issues, the jaws can feel pain as a result of movement of the disc that lies between the ball and socket of the joint. If this cushion is moving around, this can cause TMJ issues and result in jaw pain.

TMJ issues and the symptom of jaw pain

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a type of hinge joint that attaches the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. These bones are all in front of each ear. The TMJ allows you to move the jaws vertically as well as laterally. This allows one to perform actions such as talking, chewing and yawning. This joint can develop issues. They are collectively known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Jaw pain is the result of TMJ issues.

There are a number of factors that can cause TMJ issues. Grinding the teeth puts too much pressure on this joint. As a result, the jaws experience pain and the TMJ develops issues. Also, stress that manifests as tightening the muscles of the face and those of the jaw also causes one to develop TMJ issues. If your jaw gets injured, then you can develop TMJ issues. Such injuries can be a result of motor vehicle accidents or those in sports. The pain that is caused by TMJ issues is most pronounced in the jaw. This pain can last for a short time or for many years. Moreover, it can be experienced in only one side of the face or both. The pain can cause the face to become swollen on that side. TMJ issues are most commonly experienced by people aged between 20 and 40.

Diagnosis of TMJ issues and treatment of jaw pain

There are many other oral problems that can cause jaw pain. Examples are tooth decay and gum disease. Thus, to diagnose TMJ issues the dentist will perform some special examinations. They will check your health history. After that, the dentist will check on your jaws. He will look for clicks, tenderness, pain as well as grating sounds when you maneuver your jaws. Moreover, the dentist will ask you to open and close your mouth. This will be to check if your jaw is locking or not. The dentist can also take X rays of your face so as to see your jaws and teeth. In addition to this, a Computer Tomography (CT) scan of your face can be done too. If the situation can only corrected using surgery, the dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon.

To treat TMJ issues, the surgeon may perform surgery on your jaw. However, there are a number of non-surgical treatments available for TMJ issues. Many dentists and orthodontists agree that a breakthrough treatment for TMJ known as TruDental should be the first place you begin. Between treatments, applying an ice pack at home to the jaw that is experiencing pain can augment the therapy. The ice pack can be placed there for 10 minutes regularly every day. Another treatment is some jaw exercises that your TruDenta dentist can show you how to perform. After the exercises, you can place a warm towel upon the aching jaw for 5 minutes. The dentist will advise you to perform this regularly every day. One can also get some medication to help solve the TMJ issues. Examples of these are non-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Laser therapy can also be conducted. TMJ issues can be treated to restore health and comfort to the patient.

Natural and Safe Headache Treatment Tips

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If you have suffered a headache, you obviously understand how debilitating it can be. You do not feel good, you cannot pay attention, and nor can you give your best to any task. Getting rid of this pain is obviously important, but you need not necessarily have a prescription medication for the same. Instead, you can follow some natural headache treatment tips, which will offer great results, but not invite any side effects.

Take a Hot Shower

People generally opt for cold over hot when it comes to treating a headache topically, but at times, a steamy shower is all you need. If you experience a headache right after you wake up in the morning, then you can have a cup of coffee, followed by a light breakfast, and then take a hot shower. If you are having head pain owing to sinus pressure or cold, the warm, moist air will also clear your nasal passages.

Ginger Tea Remedy

Grate about an inch of ginger root, add it to a cup of boiled water, cover it, and let it stay for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink this tea. Ginger tea will help reduce inflammation in about the same time as aspirin would. Thus, this is a great home remedy for headache.

Try Acupressure

If you apply pressure to a point on your hand, between the index finger and your thumb, it can help relieve your headache. You just need to press the indentation in that area using the index finger and thumb of your opposite hand for about 5 minutes. Now, switch hands, and repeat.

Treat It with Cayenne

Even though this might not sound to be helpful, but cayenne has always been popular as a natural remedy to treat inflammation and pain. You need to create a solution by adding – teaspoon cayenne powder in 4 ounces warm water. Take a cotton swab, and using it stir the mixture well. Now, take the moist cotton swab and gently apply it inside both your nostrils, until you feel the heat. You might find it a little unpleasant, but as the burning sensation subsides, so will your headache.

Have Nuts

Instead of having a pill when you experience a headache, have some almonds. If you are experiencing the regular tension-type headache, then almonds can prove to be a healthier alternative to any medication. Almonds contain something known as salicin, which is an agent also found present in many over the counter killers.

Butterbur Treatment

Butterbur has been used for a long time, and you can use this extract on a daily basis to reduce the severity of headache attacks. You can get butterbur in the form of powder, tincture, capsules, and other form. It is believed to have both anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects.

Feverfew Cure

If you are suffering from a migraine head pain, then feverfew plant can help you enjoy some relief. During a migraine attack, your blood vessels change, and as per theories, the vessels in your head expand and press on the nerves. Feverfew helps relax the constricting blood vessels, calming the painful pressure. It also reduces pain owing to the presence of a substance known as parthenolide, which acts just like aspirin, but has no side effects.

Try Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is popular for treating various problems ranging from hay fever to scurvy and so on. When you experience a headache, take a large bowl, fill it halfway with boiling water, and then add cup apple cider vinegar to it. Now, take the steam by placing a towel over your head in a way that it drapes over the bowl. Do not get too close or you may burn your face. Take steam for about 5-10 minutes, or until the water starts cooling down. After you are done, pat your face dry, and drink a glass of cool water.

Hot or Cold Compress

Both cold and hot compresses work, but you have to find out what will suit you best. Some headaches occur when expanded blood vessels start pressing on your nerves. At such moments, if you apply something cold on that area, then it can help constrict the vessels and give you some relief from the throbbing headache. Other times, headache can result due to anxiety and tension, and hot compress might prove to be helpful. Some people also find alternating between hot and cold compress beneficial. You just need to find out what works best for you.

These are some simple headache treatment tips, try them, and get relief from the throbbing pain in a completely natural way.

7 Basic Facts About Migraines You Probably Thought Were Myths

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So much has been said and written about the common migraine that it is hard to know what’s true and what’s not. You might be confused about the facts and fallacies, which might be preventing you from getting the right treatment, prolonging your ailment unnecessarily. Here are some basic facts about migraines that you ought to be aware of, so you can better know how to get rid of them.

  1. Migraines are not just bad headaches

Ordinary headaches are caused by narrowing of blood vessels, which most often than not can be cured with an aspirin while expanding blood vessels cause migraines and they cannot be cured completely, if anything, they can only be relieved. Experts have explained migraines to be a syndrome of “multiple symptoms that are occurring at the same time because of a cascade of events in the brain” which produce inflammatory substances around the blood vessels and nerves in the head. However, some people might not experience pain even though it is usually the worst symptom, having only nausea and visual auras.

  1. Anyone can have them

Most people have come to think that just women experience migraines, which is not true. Actually, you would be surprised to know that even children, both boys and girls get migraines and once they grow older, men still get them but women outnumber them. Research shows that the main reason women are affected more than men are estrogen and progesterone hormones, which play a role in the disorder. Birth control can actually trigger or improve a migraine pattern depending on the level of the hormones.

  1. Painkillers are not enough to relive migraines

Migraines have the ability to provoke more than one symptom and a simple painkiller will not directly take the pain away. There are numerous prevention methods and treatments for migraines, if it was just about one pill, then so many people would not be suffering from them. Painkillers are not even recommended because they don’t treat the trigger especially things like noise and they might bring you serious side effects if you take them too often, like medication overuse headaches and you’ll keep wondering why your migraines keep escalating. You might be thinking synthetic narcotics (opioids) like Vidocin are more effective, which they are in some sense but they only change the nervous system making the next attack even easier and if one is not careful, they are very addictive.

  1. Migraines are hereditary

A child has 50% chance of suffering from migraines if one parent does and 75% chance if both parents suffer from them. Actually, they might have a 20% chance if a distant relative suffers from the condition. It would be likely for a boy to carry the gene and not succumb to the disorder but if he fathers a daughter, she might be more prone to get it. Of course, a lot of people could inherit the gene and not suffer from the condition.

  1. Migraines are not caused by psychological problems

Anxiety depression and migraines might always travel together but one does not lead to the others. People with depression do not have to have migraines and vice versa. A patient with depression might be treated with anti-depressants but that would not cure a migraine if they had it and a patient treated for migraines with anti-migraine medications will still suffer from depression if they have it.

  1. Caffeine does not help to relieve migraines

It might work for some people and could turn out to be a trigger for others. If a person experiences a mild or moderate migraine, caffeine might help relieve it but they should not take too much. For people who take 4 to 5 cups of coffee during the day, they may foster a dependency making the overnight withdrawal cause a trigger in the morning.

  1. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) does not cause migraines

Sometimes the two conditions could be connected but not all women with periods get PMS and not all those with migraines have PMS. Migraines are sensitive to the hormones that occur before a period, and a menstrual migraine might attack two days before and three after a period although this usually is not accompanied by visual disturbances.

Some people might also think that ambitious women might get migraines due to multitasking, which could not be further from the truth. Stress at one point might trigger migraines but not entirely to women and it will not matter if they are in the office or at home with the kids.

You cannot allow migraine myths to deter you from doing what you want, just make sure to consult a doctor so you know what triggers yours and what can be done about it.

Treating soreness with heat or cold?

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It’s Sunday evening after you’ve spent the day raking the yard – or playing touch football with the kids or stacking wood for the fireplace. Now that you’ve finally settled in for the night, you’re beginning to feel increasing soreness in your lower back (or left shoulder or right thigh). Ordinarily, this is where you’d call me for a therapeutic massage but that’s obviously not an option until tomorrow morning.

You’re going to have to self-treat. For most folks this means one of two things: applying ice or applying heat. But the question is which one you should use. Ask 10 people and they’ll probably split straight down the middle. One half will swear that heat is the best option while the other will vow that ice is what really works. So what’s the answer?

Well, it turns out that this is one of those “all of the above” questions. Using cold and heat in combination provides the best result for treating soft-tissue aches and pains. You just have to be sure to use the elements properly.

Start with the cold; use an ice pack or a zipper bag of ice or a bag of frozen peas or whatever you have on hand. Wrap the cold source in a cloth so it doesn’t come in direct contact with your skin, then put it on the sore spot and wait. Most people remove the ice too soon – keep it on until the area goes completely numb. At this point, you can apply your heating pad or other heat source and warm the area back up. Repeat the process of icing and warming as needed.

Massage Terms

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These are some of the more common terms used by most massage therapists. The next time your massage therapist uses any of these terms; you will know what he is talking about. You can be proud that the power of educating yourself has payed off!

Types Of Massage

  • Swedish Massage: One of the most common forms of massage therapy. It is a very relaxing and therapeutic form of bodywork.
  • Hot Stone Massage: A massage that uses basalt stones that are heated. They aide the therapist in providing deep penetrating heat to the muscles.
  • Deep Tissue Massage: A form of massage therapy that uses a lot of pressure to relieve muscle tension.
  • Sports Massage: A form of massage therapy designed for athletes. It’s more vigorous than a Swedish Massage.
  • Trigger Point Therapy: A form of massage therapy designed to release a specific type of knot in the muscle. (see “All Knotted Up” below)
  • Therapeutic or Medical Massage: A form of massage therapy designed to work specific muscles.
  • Seated Massage: A form of massage therapy that uses a specially designed chair for the bodywork.
  • Reflexology: A form of bodywork that uses pressure points in the feet, hands and ears to stimulate the corresponding body organs.
  • Pregnancy Massage: This is also referred as side lying massage. It is used for pregnant women (obviously) but also used for special circumstances. A client may be physically handicapped, or in pain that prevents him from lying face up or face down on the table.
  • Energy Work: This involves many different massage modalities. It comes from Eastern Medicine and the belief that there is more to the human body than what can be seen physically. Most of these modalities date back thousands of years. Western cultures and medicine are only just starting to realize that energy work is real, although inexplicable.

Different Strokes For Different Folks

  • Effleurage: A gliding stroke used by massage therapists. This is typically used at the beginning and end of the massage. It’s purpose is to warm the tissues by providing increased circulation.
  • Petrissage: A kneading stroke used by massage therapists. This stroke is designed to lift and knead the tissues. It helps in removing the metabolic wastes that have built up in muscle tissue. It also helps to draw new blood to the tissues.
  • Friction: Also referred as cross fiber friction. This stroke is most commonly used by the therapists fingers or thumbs. The therapist will sink into the muscle with his fingers, then rapidly move them back and forth across the muscle. This helps in breaking down tight knots that have built up in the muscle tissue.
  • Nerve Strokes: This is a form of effleurage that involves a light touch. It is usually done in a manner that is both light in touch and quick in movement. It’s purpose is to stimulate the area after it has been worked with other methods.
  • Tapotement: This is what you have seen in the movies. The boxer that lays on the table while some big burly guy appears to be beating on the boxers back. In reality there are many forms of tapotement, from light finger tapping to the heavy beating. This is generally used at the end of a massage session and it helps stimulate the tissues.
  • Stripping: This is a stroke used by massage therapist that is designed to help lengthen a muscle. Usually the therapist uses his thumbs and while applying pressure he glides the full length of the muscle that is being worked on.

All Knotted Up

There are different terms for the different conditions of a muscle. These can vary wildly and mean different things to different people. You might hear your therapist say “That’s a ropey knot.” What he may be referring to is a long tight band of muscle. Two forms of knots that have definitive meanings are trigger points and tender points.

  • Trigger Points: There are several types of trigger points; active, latent, primary, and satellite. For the purpose of this article we are going to just call them trigger points. Basically a trigger point is a knot in the belly of a muscle that when pressed on, refers pain to a specific point in the body. Trigger points are knots that are in a constant state of contraction. Normal massage strokes will not “release” a trigger point. A massage therapist has to use direct pressure on the trigger point to interrupt the nerve impulse that is causing the muscle contraction.
  • Tender Points are similar to trigger points with the difference being a tender point does not refer pain when pressure is applied. The method for releasing a tender point is different also. The therapist must place the muscle in a passively contracted state until the tender point relaxes and dissipates.

Some Miscellaneous Terms

  • Fascia: is a layer of connective tissue. Fascia is found throughout the human body. Think of it as a nylon stocking wrapping everything in the body. This is what helps hold everything in its place.
  • Tendons: These connect the muscle to the bone.
  • Ligaments: These connect bones to bones.
  • Draping: A technique used to cover a client in order to protect the clients modesty.
  • Drape: The material used for draping, this can be a sheet, pillow case, towel, etc.
  • Face Cradle: The area where a client rests their face on a massage table.
  • Bolster: A specifically designed cushion to aide in the clients comfort while lying on the massage table.
  • Lotion, Oil, Gel: The lubricant used to aide the therapist in giving a massage.
  • Prone: This is the face down position when a client is on the massage table.
  • Supine: This is the face up position when a client is on the massage table.

As stated earlier, this is not a definitive list of massage terminology.