The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are the two joints on either side of your head that connect your jaw to your skull. These joints enable normal jaw movement, allowing you to “open wide” without pain or discomfort. However, when there’s an issue with these joints, you could experience decreased mobility, including difficulty opening your mouth or pain while chewing. You may also feel frequent jaw pain that appears unrelated to joint movement, or experience headaches, earaches, and even toothaches. Any facial pain caused by your jaw could be a sign of a TMJ disorder, so if you’re experiencing pain in this area, seek chiropractic treatment to release tension, improve mobility, and relieve pain.
How Can Chiropractic Help with TMJ?
If you’ve already been diagnosed with, and sought treatment for, a TMJ disorder, you might be wondering exactly how chiropractic can be used to treat TMJ. To understand how chiropractic care relates to TMJ treatment, you have to understand that “TMJ” refers specifically to the temporomandibular joint itself, but the term is often used to refer to any TMJ disorder; therefore, you’ll often hear people with a TMJ disorder saying “I have TMJ.” While this can simplify things when talking about your TMJ disorder, it’s important to remember that not all TMJ problems are the same, so not all TMJ disorder treatments can be the same.
You also have to understand how the joints can be affected by other issues in your body. Many TMJ problems are caused or worsened by physical stresses around these joints. When your TMJs are strained and causing you pain, it’s very likely caused by a strain on the muscles of your jaw, face, and neck; strain on your teeth; misaligned cartilage discs at the joint; and pressure on ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves nearby. Daily physical and emotional stresses on any of these areas surrounding your jaw can lead to TMJ pains and disorders, and chiropractic care can help relieve the physical strains, reducing and preventing TMJ pain.
Benefits of Chiropractic TMJ Pain Relief
Chiropractic TMJ pain relief is especially useful when your TMJ pain is caused by or worsened by physical stresses on the areas surrounding your jaw. Whether your TMJ disorder is caused by other physical stresses or not, be relieving surrounding muscle, nerve, and ligament strain, chiropractic care is able to alleviate some or all of the pain associated with many TMJ disorders. With spinal adjustments, we can help you relax your muscles, realign joints, relieve nerve and muscle tension, and target specific trigger points that allow us to realign your jaw. We can relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorders, from joint pain to headaches, ensuring that the mental and physical stresses you go through everyday aren’t worsened by your TMJ problems.
Preventing TMJ Pain with Chiropractic Care
While there are several treatment options out there for TMJ disorders, not all of them work as effectively as chiropractic care, and many of them are no help at all in preventing TMJ problems or reducing the frequency of flare-up symptoms. With chiropractic care, though, you can look forward to a TMJ treatment that not only treats your symptoms but prevents TMJ pain from resurfacing. TMJ disorders are often made worse by added stress, which can cause your muscles and joints to tense up more than usual. Because chiropractic care helps to relieve this tension, it can prevent TMJ flare-ups by providing lasting tension relief. With realignments, you’ll also have the benefit of knowing that your TMJs and the discs surrounding these joints are properly aligned, which will give them less cause to be strained or in pain. Chiropractic care can also be used as an additive to other TMJ treatments, which can make these treatments, and chiropractic care, more effective in relieving and preventing TMJ-related pain.
Symptoms of TMJ
The symptoms of TMJ disorders vary from person to person depending on the cause and extent of your TMJ disorder, as well as any additional stresses you may place on the areas surrounding your jaw. However, common TMJ symptoms include “lock jaw,” or an inability to move your jaw; jaw and joint pain; neck pain; toothaches; earaches; headaches; and painful “clicking” when you move your jaw. All of these symptoms can be worsened or caused by jaw clenching, teeth grinding, gum and lip chewing, cradling a phone to your neck, anesthesia, and dental appointments that require you to leave your mouth open for extended periods of time.
If you think you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder, or if you need a natural TMJ treatment that really works, contact Caron Chiropractic at (651) 255-9999.