Would you ever guess that the source of your chronic headaches could start in the jaw? As it turns out, your chiropractor and your dentist might have more in common than you would think. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) describes a condition in which one or both of the hinges connecting the mandible to the skull (or the upper and lower jaw) suffers acute or chronic inflammation and fails to work properly. This hinge allows the jaw to move forward, backward, and side-to-side, and is one of the most complex joints in the human body. A misalignment between the upper and lower jaw can feel as though your jaw is “stuck” momentarily, and is often accompanied by popping or clicking sounds. Symptoms associated with this disorder include tenderness or soreness in the jaw, neck, and upper back muscles; pain induced by yawning, opening the mouth widely, or chewing; clicking or popping sounds when the mouth is opened or closed; and headaches, earaches, or pain behind the eyes. The primary cause of TMJ remains unknown, but bruxism (teeth grinding), trauma, and degenerative joint diseases normally aggravate these symptoms. In short, temporomandibular joint disorder is all too common.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
While there is no definitive cure for TMJ, leading dental experts recommend a few popular approaches to treatment: medication (muscle relaxers, aspirin, or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs), night guards (to reduce the effects of tooth clenching and grinding), relaxation (developing techniques to reduce the tension in your jaw), and finally, corrective surgery if all else fails. Like any other joint in the body, degenerative and arthritic effects may set in if this problem remains unaddressed. So where does chiropractic come into play? In its most basic form, TMJ characterizes the misfiring of a complex system of muscles, discs, ligaments, and bones. Sound familiar? Chiropractic medicine is designed to correct precisely these issues, regardless of where they occur in the body. It relaxes the muscles, adjusts the joints, and utilizes specific trigger points to properly re-position the body. At Grieb Chiropractic Clinic, we offer a free spinal analysis to correct the symptoms of TMJ and realign both your jaw and spine to achieve full body wellness. Here’s how chiropractic can help.
At your free spinal analysis, you will undergo a series of x-rays to determine whether your symptoms are indeed the result of TMJ or a misalignment of your cervical spine. If you do suffer from TMJ, this treatment will relieve tight muscles in your back and spine and reduce the amount of stress placed on the jaw. More specifically, we will use active release techniques around the afflicted area to specially care for this condition. First, active release treatment involves gently massaging the muscles surrounding the jaw on both sides. Then, the joint is adjusted using hand and instrument contact that is specific to the jaw. Not only can this approach ease the negative side effects of TMJ, but also greatly increase range of motion while opening and closing the mouth. This disorder could potentially relapse if ignored, so make sure you continue to visit our office and receive the full benefits of chiropractic care. Realign your spine and nervous system, and stop suffering needlessly from TMJ. Give us a call to set up an appointment at (724)-935-6050 today!