Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), is the medical term that is used to describe pain or dysfunction with the upper jaw and lower jaw. Although initial treatment of the disorder can include applying cold packs to the area or eating a diet that consists mainly of soft foods, patients often try dental treatments as a way to eliminate the pain. However, chiropractic adjustment for TMJ can be an effective solution for those who are looking to avoid invasive dental surgery and/or treatment.
The Definition of Chiropractic Medicine
Chiropractic medicine is an alternative medical science that places focus on the spinal area and nervous system. The main principle of this alternative medical approach is that misalignment of the structure of the spine can cause neurological symptoms anywhere in a person’s body.
The Causes of TMJ Disorder
Several things can cause TMJ; however, a chiropractic adjustment can help relieve the pain and realign the jaw. Some of these causes are:
- Grinding teeth (especially at night)
- Excessive chewing
- Joint injury
- Misalignment of teeth and jaw
When a patient has TMJ disorder, he or she doesn’t only feel pain in the affected area. The patient may also begin to experience a decrease in the range of motion in the jaw area, headaches, earaches, misalignment of teeth and problems hearing.
The Different Ways A Chiropractor Can Help Patients with TMJ Disorder
A chiropractor can begin to help a patient with chronic TMJ pain by aligning the spine. The adjustment can be used in combination with other complementary treatments that help to relax the muscles around the jaw and reposition the joint. Successful chiropractic adjustments will not only reduce the pain, but the adjustments will also prevent the disorder from returning.
Treatments include relieving tension that surrounds the joint, and these treatments can occur inside and outside of the mouth. Trigger point treatments and massage are commonly used chiropractic treatments.
Trigger point therapy helps to alleviate pain associated with a certain muscle around the joint. The most common trigger points that are associated with TMJ disorder are:
- Masseter muscle (pain in ear, around the eye and upper area of jaw)
- Trapezius muscle (pain in behind the ear, temple and jaw)
- Medial Pterygoid (TMJ pain, neck, nose and lower jaw)
Chiropractic adjustment for TMJ disorder can be successful on its own or with other treatments such as pain relievers and mouth guards. Reducing stress and adding relaxation techniques to your daily routine will help prevent TMJ disorder from reoccurring after successful chiropractic treatments.
Are you a chronic sufferer of TMJ pain due to misalignment of your jaw or excessive chewing? Schedule an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment with Dr. Renee White of Champion Chiropractic and get relief from your chronic pain.