Chiropractic and TMJ Disorder
Not many people think of going to a chiropractor when they have jaw pain. Years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and ended up with tempomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. I just dealt with it, and accepted that eating almonds or a big ol' burger was going to result in some soreness. While in grad school at New York Chiropractic College, a professor worked on my jaw and I had a successful outcome and have not experienced any jaw pain since. I was thrilled!
Symptoms of TMJ include but are not limited to clicking, popping or pain of the jaw when you open or close your mouth, locking of the jaw as well as headaches or earaches. Common causes of TMJ are wear and tear of the joint itself, injury, stress, dental appliances, clenching or grinding of the teeth, poor joint alignment or arthritic inflammation.
So you are probably wondering what the heck we are going to do about your jaw pain. We have a few options. We will start by checking your jaw alignment and see if your pain is generated from the joint itself or the soft tissue structures that surround the joint. Often we work on a few muscles around the face, jaw and even inside your mouth. Sounds pleasant..right? Next we discuss and decide how we want to mobilize the TMJ. We can either perform a manual adjustment on the TMJ itself or use what is called an Activator to gently mobilize a stuck joint. Both options help restore that joints full range of motion.
What you do at home will greatly impact your overall response to treatment. Some helpful ways to treat at home include using ice to help reduce inflammation in the area, asking patients to attempt to keep their jaw relaxed (ie. do not clench throughout the day) and also you can massage your jaw (we will show you how!). Some other quick changes are to avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this can promote misalignment of your jaw, and to stop chewing gum. Excess chewing can lead to more irritation in the joint.
If you or a friend have ever dealt with TMJ pain or dysfunction feel free to contact us!
Climb Chiropractic Sports Health
421 Broad Street
Utica, NY 13501
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