We’ve all had our tire pressure light come on our dashboard before. If you’re like me, you know you should go get it checked before getting on the freeway, but you likely put it off, brushing it off as a change in temperature or a faulty sensor. Oftentimes it’s a quick fix for a minor loss of tire pressure, and you’re back on your way again after taking the time to have your tire checked. But what if you kept putting it off, letting the tire continue to lose air, and ultimately putting yourself at risk for a much bigger problem?
A common complaint I hear from people considering whether to pursue treatment for their jaw is, “It bothers me sometimes, but not all the time.” Or, “It pops and clicks, but it doesn’t really hurt.” After answering a few more questions about their jaw and daily life, they often remember that they actually do have more specific issues related to their jaw that are quite bothersome.
Whether you’re having trouble opening wide for long periods at the dentist (or opening at all), or notice popping and clicking when you’re eating, these are your jaw’s warning signs lighting up on your body’s dashboard. The longer you delay getting treatment for these problems, the greater the risk for developing more complications within the jaw joint, and the chance of achieving long-term resolution of your symptoms with conservative treatment decreases.
If you notice something isn’t right, don’t wait until you are in pain to seek help. Clicking and popping are warning signals of deeper issues, and physical therapy helps. Check out our Getting Started section to learn more about how you can get ahead of your jaw, neck, or head pain.
Caitlin Ayres, PT, DPT, CFC