Meet Katie Pudhorodsky, LMT, TMJ Massage Specialist
TJz™ is proud to partner with Katie Pudhorodsky, LMT, a licensed structural massage therapist with 18 years of experience practicing in Austin, Texas. Katie is most enthusiastic about helping those with head, neck and jaw problems and is one of the most passionate TMJ massage therapists in the country. After TMJ and headache management became her niche she developed an online course to offer advice to reach beyond her immediate community.
Katie’s extensive training and bio are impressive. In 2002, she graduated from Southeastern School of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy in Charlotte, NC; she stayed on as a co-teacher for five years. Her focused training even includes a physical therapy course for TMJ.
“As I’ve been referring with other professionals like dentists, ENTs and myofunctional therapists I’ve expanded my thinking beyond muscles and bones. Airway is a huge component in TMJ pain relief.” Her clients are grateful that she can identify many red flags, start the basic education and direct them to appropriate providers.
How Massage Therapy can Help TMJ Pain Relief
TMJ disorder and jaw problems are marked by pain and stiffness in the jaw, neck, face and behind the ears. The TMJs or temporomandibular joints connect your jaw to each side of your skull. Massaging the muscles can soften the tightened muscles that have been referring pain or headaches. Then the intensity or frequency of pain can decrease. TMJ focused massage therapists can help bring about a left-right symmetry in motion. This can be seen and felt as a smoother, straighter opening of the jaw or a more even bite strike. At this point your dentist or myofunctional therapist will have a clearer platform to effectively do their next interventions.
Pregnancy and TMJ Disorders
Katie also treats pregnant women, not only for prenatal massage, but also for TMJ disorders during pregnancy. There are more and more cases of pregnant women experiencing jaw problems. This may be due to sleep disruption which can lead to TMJ problems such as morning headaches and jaw stiffness. During the later stages of pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is elevated, which makes the body’s ligaments more relaxed and can make the jaw ligaments unstable. Katie’s prenatal massage can help with relaxation, pain relief, reduction in swelling, and preparation for birthing.
Learn about TMJ Pain Relief at Home
In her daily practice with clients suffering with jaw problems, Katie continuously identifies patterns and gets feedback from clients on what works best for TMJ pain relief. This knowledge and passion evolved to an online video course, Self Help to Relieve Head, Neck & Jaw Pain. You can get a free video lesson that will teach you self-massage to one jaw muscle and one habit change to adjust now. The full course teaches:
- Identify tight muscles that cause head, neck and jaw pain
- How to perform self-massage techniques to address and relieve muscle and TMJ joint pain
- How to use stretching and stabilization techniques for tight and tense muscles to improve range of motion
- Habits to start or stop to break the pain cycle
- The role airway and tongue placement play in head, neck and jaw problems
Teaming Up With TJz Balm™
Katie sells TJz Balm™ in her office so that clients can use it at home, especially at night-time. “Clients are reporting lots of positive feedback after using TJz Balm™ at home. It gives us one more easy and passive tool to use, which supports the positive muscular changes the client is getting through my work, and their self-massage.” Katie uses TJz Balm™ in her massage practice after a client’s TMJ treatment to maintain the muscle release around the temporomandibular joint. She is also a TJz™ Health Professional Affiliate.
TJz Balm™ is an organic OTC topical pain relief drug for muscle and joint pain relief. TJz Balm™ is made with seven purposeful ingredients and has cosmetic properties to soothe and relax the jaw. Never any synthetic chemicals, and it’s hydrating for your skin!
Resources For You
Here is a list of other products that Katie recommends for TMJ treatment at home. On Help Head Pain’s YouTube channel Katie talks about TMJ pain relief, TMJ headaches, muscle pain and environmental factors you can control.
Are you in the Austin area and would like to work with Katie? She has a page and video to answer most frequently asked questions.
Katie Shares Why Massage Therapy is Beneficial
Massage therapy focuses on soft tissues such as muscle, fascia, and other connective tissue. Certain muscle groups are targeted as the source of discomfort through analyzing posture, daily activities, and pain patterns. Massage therapy can lengthen locked muscles that may be impinging on nerves or pulling bones out of alignment. It also brings fresh blood to starving tissues while flushing out the metabolic wastes. This results in the body shifting back into balance, a state called homeostasis. If left untreated, muscular imbalances can lead to joint inflammation or even degenerative discs. Benefits of massage include increased circulation, decreased pain and inflammation, relaxed nervous system, boosted energy, and improved sleep.