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TMD...What Causes It?

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How many bones in the human body have teeth at the end? Two...the mandible, the lower part of your jaw, contains the lower teeth which move up and down to make contact with the stationary upper teeth contained by the maxilla. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is made up of the junction between the mandible and temporal region of the skull. Teeth make the functions of the temporomandibular joint unique in the human body, as it has an integral part in many functional tasks such as eating and talking. Functions of the TMJ that do not include eating and talking are considered oral parafunctional activities. Excessive oral parafunctional activities are among factors which commonly lead to temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). TMD symptoms can often be alleviated with the help of physical therapy.

Grinding of teeth, known as bruxism, is a common occurrence during sleep and/or waking hours. Bruxism requires active muscular contraction of the masticatory muscles, which compresses the teeth and loads the TMJ.  What happens when you hold a baby in one arm without moving for a few minutes? The muscles from your back down to your hand and the joints in between get sore! Apply this analogy to our jaw and you get the idea of how bruxism can lead to jaw pain, facial soreness, and even headaches.  Other common parafunctional habits which create mechanical stress to the TMJ include chewing bubble gum, nails, ice, etc. Recognizing and reducing or eliminating these repetitive stresses on the TMJ and masticatory muscles can significantly reduce strain and associated symptoms of the joint and soft tissues. 

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Trends In Performance Training

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IMG 0008Many High Schools and Sports Medicine Clinics, including The Center for Physical Rehabilitation, are relying on new trends in performance training. The focus of these programs is to improve the “athlete” as a whole, and not just focus on weight lifting or specialization of sport. Those types of training are seeing their last days, as incidence of injury is increasing. More and more, athletes as young as 10-12 years of age are experiencing overuse injuries such as stress fractures, tendonitis and strained muscles.

There was a recent article from The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio where Dr. James Andrews, a world renowned orthopedic surgeon in Alabama, has announced writing a book called “Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them, for Athletes, Parents and Coaches -- Based on My Life in Sports Medicine”, which details a sharp increase in youth injuries in the past decade, due to overuse. He also helped start a prevention program called STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention). His biggest goal is keeping youth athletes on the playing field, and out of the operating room. He explains that some parents and coaches don’t realize that their young athletes don’t have the physical ability to withstand the intense training that more mature Collegiate or Professional athletes can.

Some of the new trends mentioned above include ACL prevention programs, such as Sportsmetrics, and performance enhancement programs that utilize dynamic warm-ups, speed and agility training, “functional” weight training (in lieu of overtraining with Olympic Lifts) and teaching proper stretching.

For more information on Dr Andrew’s article in The Plain Dealer, follow this link:


For questions regarding more information on some of the Center for Physical Rehabilitation’s offerings,

please visit www.pt-cpr.com

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Keep Your Cool

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As hard as it is to believe, fall sports are just around the corner. This means intense late summer training sessions in potentially hot and humid weather. Add protective gear to the equation and heat related issues become very real. This applies to those who work or play outside regularly. Being educated about the warning signs and symtoms, prompt treatment options and prevention is critical.
There are three major heat related issues: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat cramps are the initial sign of the body overheating and present with fatigue, exhaustion, thirst and muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion is the next stage and can be identified by heavy sweating, rapid pulse, lightheadedness, headache and feeling faint. These can be easily treated if done so immediately. If body temperature continues to rise to 104 degrees, then it's classified as heat stroke which can cause damage to your heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. Symtoms may include the ones previously listed and also lack of sweating, flushed skin, confusion and unconsciousness. In such cases, seek emergency help.

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Exercise and Cancer

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Every one of us knows someone who has had to deal with cancer of some kind. As of 2009, over 12.5 million cases of cancer had been diagnosed, and we have watched them struggle with their recovery. There is longstanding research that a healthy diet and regular exercise can be beneficial in reducing the risk for developing cancer. However, recently, more research has been directed towards exercise during and after treatment.
Exercise during cancer treatment has been shown to affect quality of life in areas including body weight, overall fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and symptoms of pain and fatigue, as well as reduce chemotherapy doses and delays in chemotherapy treatments.

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