August Newsletter – Jaw Pain

jaw pain physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal disorders involving the jaw are commonly known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). TMD affects 10-15% of adults and is often associated with jaw degenerative changes. People with TMD often report jaw pain, facial pain, clicking, decreased range of mouth opening and joint locking during activities such as yawning and chewing. In some cases, people with TMD may also notice their teeth clenching or feel their teeth grinding. Upon reporting these symptoms, TMD sufferers are typically directed to the nearest dentist for an occlusion splint by their doctors.

However, TMD is often associated with other musculoskeletal symptoms such as neck pain, neck tightness and headache resulting from prolonged poor sitting posture. Poor neck posture has been demonstrated to alter jaw muscle and joint mechanics which could abnormally increase jaw loading resulting in jaw pain. Additionally, increased stress level, anxiety and increased oral activity besides eating; such as chewing gum or nail biting, can increase jaw muscle activity resulting in TMD symptoms. Thus, splinting the jaw does not always target the source of TMD.

See Your Physio!

Physiotherapists are experts in diagnosing and managing TMD-related symptoms and sources. Currently, there is emerging evidence that many TMD presentations respond well to manual (hands-on) therapy such as joint mobilization, joint distraction and jaw and neck exercises. Exercise has been demonstrated to improve pain and jaw range of motion faster than occlusion splints in people with TMD. Additionally, physiotherapists may advise TMD patients on lifestyle changes regarding to jaw usage and educate TMD patients on self-management strategies.

Physiotherapists play an integral role in the management of TMD patients. Timely physiotherapy intervention of people with TMD can lead to superior clinical outcomes and greater satisfaction. Motion Health Physiotherapists strive to work closely with you to ensure optimum recovery of your TMD. Please contact us or call 9825 2697 should you or someone you know require help with this condition.

July Updates – Strength & Balance

strength and balance

Strength and Balance

Did you know that over the age of 65, one third of Australians fall each year? This can result in physical injury, loss of independence, and decreased confidence, not to mention a negative impact on overall health and well being.

At Motion Health, we offer a Strength & Balance group which aims to help people improve balance and exercise tolerance, reducing ongoing risk of falling.

Through exercise we are able to improve muscular strength, balance, confidence, walking speed and the ability to continue to complete daily activities.

The group is conducted by a qualified Exercise Physiologist in a small group setting. With no more than 6 per group, this is the perfect opportunity to enhance quality of life and meet new people.

If you or anyone you know would benefit from the class, please contact our friendly reception team on your next visit or call 03 9825 2697

June Newsletter – Core Stability

core stability

It seems that lately, the term “core” is banded around by everyone in the fitness industry, from Personal trainers, to Pilates instructors, and to Physiotherapists. It has become an umbrella term for anything that works your abdominals. This can be extremely confusing and its’ use is not accurately applied. When it comes to spinal control, we need to address the body as a whole; the spine is attached to the Shoulder girdle and Pelvis, and what happens at one part influences the next. There needs to be an efficient transfer of load between one part and another as we move.

As physiotherapists, we are now more likely to use the term “Motor Control”, than “core stability”. Motor Control is any movement activation that the brain tries to control, and includes Posture, the pattern of movements that we adopt, the way we activate muscles and the timing of muscle recruitment. Motor Control can be normal or abnormal and if it is abnormal we can work to correct it.

Commonly, abnormal motor control can develop because of injury and pain, but also based on fear, and how people feel they should move their spines after injury. ‘Bracing’ patterns are common, and can be re-enforced by outdated concepts surrounding the pre-setting of the “core muscles”. Using a ‘more is better’ approach is not functional. By increasing the contraction of the muscles that stabilise the spine, we can restrict the spines movement, restrict breathing and ‘bear’ down on the muscles of pelvic floor, weakening them.

Good Motor Control is about employing the right muscle activation strategy at the right time. Optimal control of the body’s parts is less about contracting as hard as you can to create stiffness, but more about recruiting the right muscles at the right time with just the right amount of contraction.

At Motion Health we train spinal, hip and shoulder motion combined with the rest of the kinetic chain to share the load through the body. We try to do so in a way that promotes variability in movement to give the body options. This aims to inspire confidence and competence in movement to remove fear and allow you to ‘Move well and live well’.

If you are looking for a Physiotherapist in Toorak, South Yarra, Hawthorn, Prahran, Richmond, Malvern or surrounding suburbs then please call Motion Health on 03 9825 2697 or book online

Exercise and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the joints, where the cartilage that covers the surface of joint has worn down or is in the process of wearing down. Within and around the joints cartilage acts as a shock absorber and assists with the smooth movement of the joint, making OA one of the leading causes of musculoskeletal pain. As the cartilage wears away bones can rub uncomfortably together causing pain and restricted movement. This can often result in extra bone growths occurring around the surface of the bones causing increased pain.

Exercise is the best possible way to conservatively manage osteoarthritis. Current research shows that exercise is just as effective in relieving the symptoms of OA as commonly prescribed pain and anti-inflammatory medications, with the added bonus of having far fewer side effects.

Exercise is able to –

  • Increase joint ROM
  • Decrease joint pain
  • Increase muscular strength
  • Prevent deconditioning and muscle wasting
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve balance
  • Improve quality of life
  • Improve fitness and well being

Within Pilates sessions we are able to address all the above and help reduce the symptoms of OA and the effect that it has on your daily life. By strengthening and increasing flexibility of the muscles around joints the stress and load the joints need to with stand can be significantly reduced.

All sessions at Motion Health are prescribed by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or an Physiotherapist whom are well trained in correctly monitoring and progressing exercise programs directed at managing OA.

If you have any questions about the exercise and osteoarthritis feel free to talk to your practitioner or ask reception about the best class for you.

At Motion Health we are also able to accept Medicare rebate eligible exercise physiology sessions with a referral from a GP.