Our Orofacial Pain Care service offers a specialised approach to all forms of jaw, head, and neck pain. Led by our highly qualified therapist, Raelene Clark, we provide comprehensive diagnostics and tailored treatment protocols to identify and treat the root cause of orofacial pain.
Raelene Clark is a distinguished Orofacial Pain Therapist with over 30 years of clinical experience, holding a B.Sc in Molecular Genetics & Human Biology, and a Master of Science in Medicine, Orofacial Pain Specialty. As one of only three therapists in Australia with this specialization, Raelene's expertise and compassionate, patient-centered approach has helped numerous individuals find lasting relief from their pain.
At Painless, Raelene collaborates with a multidisciplinary team of pain-focused allied health and specialist medical providers to deliver comprehensive, personalized care. Utilizing scientifically devised assessment and examination procedures, she accurately diagnoses the root cause of head, neck, and jaw pain, and develops personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs.
Tension in the muscles of the face, jaw and neck commonly contribute to recurring headaches and migraines. Orofacial therapy employs manual therapies and exercises to retrain the facial muscles and release excess tension.
The temporomandibular joint, which connects the jawbone to the skull, can become inflamed, damaged or displaced. This can cause pain in the jaw, neck, and face, as well as difficulty chewing and speaking. Beginning with a detailed examination, we work to identify the cause of dysfunction, then curate tailored therapies to resolve pain and improve function.
Orthodontic surgeries, such as tooth extractions or corrective jaw surgery, can cause pain and discomfort post-operation. Raelene works closely with orthodontic surgeons to devise an individualized post-operative care plan. This plan includes pain management strategies and exercises to reduce swelling and enhance the healing process.
Orthodontic braces can cause a range of discomforts including sore teeth, irritated gums, headaches and pain in the jaw. Our therapies aim to alleviate these symptoms using methods such as myotherapy, cold spray and stretch techniques, and guidance on optimal oral health practices for maintaining and cleaning braces. We also provide advice on managing pain post-braces adjustments.
Bruxism—clenching or grinding of teeth—causes jaw pain and headaches, and is commonly associated with sleep apneoa and other sleep disorders. We work closely with dentists and sleep specialists to address the source of buxism, while managing pain and discomfort.
Tension in the muscles of the face and jaw can cause or contribute to persistent neck pain. Orofacial therapy employs manual therapies and exercises to retrain, and release tension, from the muscles of the head and neck.
Nerve pain in the head and neck or face caused by damage or dysfunction of the occipital and trigeminal nerves, respectively. Treatment involves a multidisciplinary approach, often including collaboration between Raelene and a Painless pain specialist.
Identifying the root causes of orofacial pain is crucial. Accurate diagnosis facilitates effective treatment. Our scientifically devised examination procedures enable us to identify the source of pain. These techniques include:
This examination involves a magnifying light used to examine the inside of the mouth for abnormalities that could cause pain or contribute to sleep apnea, a known cause of head, neck, and jaw pain.
This examination involves the use of an otoscope to examine the ears for abnormalities that could contribute to the pain.
This examination involves testing the nerves of the face to identify any involvement in the pain condition.
This examination involves evaluating the muscles of the jaw, face, and neck for tightness, and measuring the jaw joint for any dysfunction.
Based on our findings, we develop a tailored treatment plan. Therapies and treatments include dry needling, exercise prescription, cold spray technique, manual therapy, and ischaemic compression, among others.
In some cases, the therapist may also provide referrals to specialist dentists for a specific treatment, or refer internally to one of Painless's Pain Specialists.
Our orofacial pain therapy service involves a range oftechniques and equipment aimed at addressing a wide range of conditions andinjuries. Here are some of the techniques and equipment we use:
Myotherapy is a specialized form of massage therapy that targets the muscles and soft tissues of the face, jaw, and neck. By applying targeted pressure and stretching techniques, myotherapy can help alleviate pain, release muscle tension, and improve range of motion in these areas.
Our orofacial pain therapists may recommend supplements to support the body's natural healing processes, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health. These recommendations are based on your specific needs.
Dry needling involves the insertion of thin needles into trigger points in the muscles to alleviate pain, reduce muscle tension, and improve function. This technique can provide immediate relief for many patients and may be particularly beneficial for those with myofascial pain or muscle-related discomfort.
Stretch and spray is a technique used to improve range of motion and reduce pain in the neck and jaw. Our orofacial pain therapists apply a topical analgesic spray to the affected area, followed by gentle stretching exercises, which can help relax muscles and alleviate pain.
Our orofacial pain therapists may recommend oral health practices such as teeth grinding prevention, mouth guard use, and relaxation techniques to reduce tension in the jaw and face. By addressing these contributing factors, patients can experience improved jaw function and reduced discomfort.
Our orofacial pain therapists can provide specialized rehabilitation services following orthodontic surgery to improve function and reduce pain. These services may include targeted exercises, massage techniques, and guidance on self-care practices to promote healing and restore optimal function.
Our practitioners shared an unwavering commitment to learning and evolution. Thus, our therapies is ever growing and changing. If you're seeking a specific therapy or technique, please don't hesitate to ask - we likely have just the practitioner for you.
Our specialized therapist, Raelene Clark, uses a compassionate, patient-centered approach to help patients with various conditions and injuries related to the face, jaw, and neck. By addressing the root cause of pain and improving function and quality of life, orofacial pain therapy can help patients achieve lasting relief from pain. If you're dealing with pain related to the face, jaw, or neck, we encourage you to book an appointment with our orofacial pain therapist to learn more about how we can help.