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Jaw Osteomyelitis Physiotherapy
Osteomyelitis refers to an infection of the bone.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
is rarely affected by osteomyelitis, but when it is, it will require
immediate medical attention. Lack of jaw and neck mobility may occur during and
after the infection, and physiotherapy will help improve your jaw
- restore your ability to eat and speak
- and brush your teeth
What Is Osteomyelitis of the Jaw?
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone and most commonly affects
the bones of the extremities, spine, and pelvis. The temporomandibular
joint (TMJ) is rarely affected by this condition, but when it is,
serious problems with the bones of the face and jaw can result.
Usually, the infection is the result of bacteria entering the body
through poor oral hygiene or oral surgery, such as a root canal
procedure. It also may occur following a jaw fracture. Osteomyelitis in
the jaw occurs more in men than women, and more commonly in the mandible
(lower jaw bone) than the maxilla (bone where the top teeth are
People with diabetes, have alcoholism, or any other diseases that
impact the immune system are at greater risk of getting this condition. Also, having had another recent
surgery before oral surgery or jaw trauma may increase risk, also.
To heal the infected bone, the body sends white blood cells to the
area; however, persistent presence of white blood cells near the bone
actually causes the bone to break down. The infection restricts blood
flow to the area and causes bone death ("necrosis").
Signs and Symptoms
Osteomyelitis of the jaw can cause:
- Jaw pain
- Facial swelling
- Tenderness to the touch
- Jaw stiffness
- Sinus drainage
- Tooth loss
- Pus (thick, usually yellow-white fluid)
- A palpable bump on the bone of the jaw
- Headaches or neck ache
During the acute stage of osteomyelitis, you'll have increasing,
constant jaw pain and sinus pressure that is not affected by movement of
the jaw. If you have chronic osteomyelitis, you may have jaw and neck
stiffness, and difficulty with eating and talking.
How Is It Diagnosed?
A series of blood tests usually is ordered to check for elevated
white blood cell counts.
This condition is often misdiagnosed because
its symptoms are similar to other jaw, skull, or face problems. Bone
changes and inflammation may be observed in medical images (x-ray,
ultrasound, CT, or MRI) of the jaw, as well.
If osteomyelitis is found to be the cause of your pain, your
physician will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.
Occasionally, there is difficulty opening the mouth, normally due to
tissue damaged by the inflammation. It's in these cases where physiotherapy
will help restore motion and decrease pain in the jaw area.
or dentist will inform our senior physiotherapists what specific areas were
impacted by the infection. We then can help you
- restore the normal motion and mobility of those structures
- reduce your
- gain the ability to speak, eat, and maintain oral hygiene
how our senior physiotherapists can help
Our senior physiotherapists can help restore the natural movement of your
jaw and decrease your pain; but first, we and you need the antibiotics to take
effect. After you've finished your course of antibiotics, you might have pain and
limited movement at the TMJ and cervical spine. You also may have
During your first visit with your physical therapist, the therapist will:
- Review your medical history, and discuss any previous surgery, fractures, or other injuries to your head, neck, or jaw
- Conduct a physical examination of your jaw and neck
- Evaluate your posture and how your neck moves
- Examine the TMJ to find out how well your mouth can open and whether
there are any abnormalities in jaw motion as a result of the
We might place his or her hand in your mouth in order to examine your jaw movement. Following the examination, we will select appropriate treatments to improve jaw movement and relieve pain.
Improve Jaw Movement
We use skilled hand movements called manual therapy
to increase movement and relieve pain in tissues and joints. We also might use manual therapy to “stretch” the jaw to:
- Restore normal joint and muscle flexibility (so that your jaw won't feel "tight")
- Break up the scar tissues ("adhesions") that may occur when disease or injury limits movement for a period of time
We may teach you special "low-load" exercises.
These are exercises that don't exert a lot of pressure on your TMJ but
can strengthen the muscles of the jaw and restore a more natural,
pain-free motion.We will also teach you exercises that help
you increase the opening of your jaw and improve the way your jaw works
Relieve Your Pain
In addition to manual therapy, if your pain is severe, our senior physiotherapists might use treatments such as
to reduce pain.
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on
- core stability
- flexibility and
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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