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How to Survive TMJ Pain

The stories of people who are living with a TMJ disorder (TMJD) usually reflect this one experience in common: They all have unpredictable pain with uncertain origins and inconsistent remedies. Chronic pain alone can limit or dampen any individual’s enjoyment and participation in typical routines and activities; compound that pain with no clear cause or solution and the long term toll can be devastating.

Thankfully, as more people come forward about their experiences, the medical and health community increases its investment in finding solutions for them. With patience and an open mind, patients with TMJD and other chronic pain are successfully finding the help they need so they can get back to enjoying life.

What is TMJ Pain?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. The exact cause of TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. The pain of TMJD may mask itself within a combination of other issues including arthritis, inflammation, jaw injury, grinding or clenching teeth, and more.

While the cause of TMJD pain may be frustratingly difficult to pinpoint, there are a number of therapies and interventions that can help relieve symptoms. TMJD sufferers are often able to alleviate their pain with primarily self-managed care and nonsurgical treatments.

Self-Care Remedies
Successful relief for TMJD pain starts with becoming more aware of tension-related habits. Once identified, patients can then begin to eliminate pain-causing habits and replace them with soothing ones, including:

  • New jaw habits. Eat soft foods cut into smaller pieces. Avoid sticky or chewy food and gum. Practice purposeful relaxation and resting the jaw with teeth slightly parted.
  • Bite guards (AKA oral splints). Wearing these devices can help buffer the jaw from subconscious or sleep-induced activity such as clenching or grinding teeth.
  • Heat or cold. Applying warm, damp heat or ice to the painful area may help reduce aching and/or swelling.
  • Stretching and massage. This article and video in particular (created by Ian Harvey) are an effective guide for implementing massage to relieve pain and reset the body’s triggers for TMJD.
  • Relaxation techniques. Consciously slowing down breathing and taking deep, cleansing breaths can help relax tense muscles, thereby reducing pain.
  • Counseling. Education and counseling can help patients understand the underlying triggers that aggravate their symptoms. The resulting release of anxiety allows the brain to remap itself away from destructive patterns.
  • Acupuncture. A specialist trained in acupuncture may be able to treat chronic pain by inserting hair-thin needles at specific locations on the body.
  • Oil pulling.       Some people have found relief for their TMJD pain through this relatively new practice for oral health.       Read more about how it works here.

Medical Interventions
In the event that TMJD pain persists or worsens despite self-care and lifestyle changes, doctors may prescribe medication or professional physical therapy. These methods do not replace self-care, but rather work together with it to give the body added support and healing. When severe TMJD pain resists all of these efforts, doctors may recommend surgery.

Seek medical attention right away if you have persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, or if you can’t open or close your jaw completely. Your doctor, dentist, or TMJ specialist can discuss causes, symptoms, and the best course of action for your optimum relief.


Rare and Wonderful Wildlife of the Manatee River

The Manatee River is a lush and peaceful waterway, teeming with many diverse forms of wildlife. Thanks to conservation efforts by its neighbor to the north, The Islands Community, the river successfully sustains both human and wildlife populations, creating an environment rich in nature-watching opportunities.   Whether you’re fishing, golfing, boating, hiking, or just out for a leisurely walk, here are five fascinating forms of wildlife you may spot along your way:

Related Blog: Parks and Preserves to Visit Near the Islands Community

Well known and beloved for their gentle nature, manatees are the official Florida marine animal. An aquatic relative of the elephant, manatees can be found in shallow, warm Florida waters year round. Because they are still on the endangered list, nature lovers are encouraged to observe the animals without touching, but don’t worry: they are very friendly and photogenic!

Bald Eagles
Native only to North America, our national bird’s largest nesting population lives right here in Florida. Its famous, distinctive coloring makes it easy to detect, even from a distance. Because bald eagles prefer to nest near water for easy feeding, Manatee River kayakers and canoers have the best opportunity for sighting these majestic birds.

Alligators have inhabited Florida’s marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes for centuries, and are an important part of the state’s heritage and ecology. The average size of these impressive creatures is 6.5 to 13 feet. In recent years, Florida has experienced tremendous human population growth, resulting in more frequent alligator sightings. Several boat tours and guides in the area offer services to observe them in the wild.

Snook Fish
The Snook is a large, silvery-green fish with a protruding lower jaw, yellow fins, and a prominent black stripe along its back. No longer a threatened population, Snook fish have become very popular with recreational anglers. Their strong, fighting spirit makes them a thrilling catch, and their mild, delicate flavor make them a popular feature at the dinner table, too!

In addition to its magnificent animals, the Manatee River showcases a number of stunning plant species as well, especially the exotic and aromatic native orchids. Florida boasts the largest number of wild-growing orchid species in the country, four of which are found nowhere else in the world. Ranging from plants that can literally fit on a dime to huge breeds that reach several feet tall, these flowers are colorful, fragrant, and a beautiful highlight to life in the heart of Florida.
Contact us for more information about The Islands on the Manatee River. We’d love to share our community with you!


Prevention and Treatment of Cheerleading Concussions

Much media attention is falling on sports today due to rising awareness and concern about the dangers of concussions. While the spotlight so far has been primarily on football and boxing, cheerleaders are routinely exposed to the same dangers. If you or someone you love is at risk for cheerleading concussions, ******** Orthopaedic Specialist wants you to be aware of the condition’s most pressing and frequently asked questions.

What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can alter the brain’s function. Though usually caused by an impact to the head, they can occur anytime the head and upper body are shaken violently back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to shift or twist within the skull, damaging brain cells and/or creating chemical changes in the brain.

What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
The list of concussion signs and symptoms is extensive. Some symptoms can be subtle and may not be apparent until hours or days after the trauma. Potential concussion symptoms include:

  • Headache or a sense of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Confusion, delayed response to questions
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Unexplained fatigue, falling asleep
  • Memory loss or inability to focus
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Disorders of taste and smell
  • Appearing dazedSleep disturbances

If your cheerleader is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your physician right away. Experts recommend that adults, children and adolescents not return to play on the same day as the injury.

What is the Best Treatment for Cheerleading Concussions?
If your cheerleader has experienced a fall, impact, or other head trauma, it is important to consult your physician immediately. During a concussion exam, you and your athlete can expect:

  • A neurological exam – The doctor will evaluate your sensory responses, coordination, and reflexes. She or he may also test your memory, focus, and other cognitive function.
  • Imaging – Especially in cases presenting severe symptoms such as seizures, ongoing vomiting or headaches, and symptoms that are worsening instead of getting better, your physician may order a series of imaging scans such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computerized tomography) scan.
  • Observation period – Depending on the doctor’s recommendation, you will probably need to be observed for a time, either by medical staff in the hospital or by a caregiver at home.

Once all testing has been concluded to your physician’s satisfaction, the number one treatment for a concussion is rest. Any concussion will require plenty of time and purposeful resting in order to heal properly. This means avoiding general physical exertion, including sports or other any vigorous activities, until symptoms have abated completely.

Your doctor may also recommend limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration, including screen time, schoolwork, reading, texting, or using a computer. You be limited to a shortened school day, or prescribed to take breaks during the day, with a reduced school workloads until your recovery is complete. Resuming sports or other vigorous activity too soon increases the risk of a second concussion and of lasting, potentially fatal brain injury. No one should return to play or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present.

Help for Cheerleading Concussions
If you are suffering from this condition, it is important that you do not take any risks. Visit ******** Orthopaedic Specialist, where a concussion doctor will assess your case and ensure that you recover without complications. Our physicians are some of the most experienced specialists for cheerleading concussions, and they can offer comprehensive and caring treatment for you. Call ******** Orthopaedic Specialist today to schedule an appointment at 555.555.5555.


6 Ways to Support Special Needs Dancers with the Use of Dance Videos

Participation in dance lessons and activities has been shown to have great benefits for people of all ages, stages, and walks of life, but did you know it can also be an accessible and healthful opportunity for students with special needs? With only a few accommodations and the strategic use of dance videos, special needs students may reap the same physical benefits as their classmates, while also receiving the structure and emotional support they need to maximize their learning experience. We at the Local Dance School are proud to support special needs students and diverse learners in the Philadelphia area.

Ballroom dancing has been a proven success in building social skills, good manners, respect for others, and self-confidence in its participants. Mastering bodily movement through dance provides children and adults with an opportunity to express themselves emotionally. This type of concentrated movement can also stimulate intellectual development and memory function. Best of all, participation in dance can help break down social and cultural barriers, thereby improving communications between individuals and groups.

For students with special needs, these benefits apply at an even deeper level. Dance generates body awareness and comfort with/an understanding of one’s own abilities. Its structured activation of the body helps bring clarity and focus to the mind. Most importantly, dance lessons can help break down the lingering stigma about special needs and its adverse effects; interacting with other learners in, in a non-judgmental setting encourages social integration and confidence for all class

Three types of dance videos that can maximize the benefits of regular dance lessons for your student are:

  1. Recap videos – Recap videos can be especially helpful for reviewing and retaining information for special needs students.  This videos are not meant to repeat all information from the lesson, but rather key points that will trigger the memory of the class. Be sure to check with your instructor before taking videos of any portion of a class or lesson.
  2. Evaluation videos – Special needs students love to see evidence of their progress and accomplishments. Whenever possible, document their achievements through photos and videos and post them in areas of high visibility for encouragement.
  3. Instructional videos – Instructional dance videos abound for every age and skill level, both online and in video retailers. While they are entertaining and sometimes very detailed, please remember that video should be used only to reinforce what is being learned in class. Using them as a substitute for class instruction negates the social benefits, and misses out on the instructor’s valuable experience and feedback!

For more information or recommendations for the best dance videos, contact Local Dance School at (555) 555-5555.






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