TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint which is the joint associated with movement of the jaw. Many individuals suffer from TMJ syndrome which refers to pain in the temporomandibular joint. Individuals with this issue often get frustrated by the lack of options available to them. Common treatments include over the counter anti-inflammatories drugs and a bite guard to wear at night. The night guard is used to reduce the stress caused by grinding teeth at night and drugs are used to relieve inflammation and help to decrease pain. These treatments do not address the root cause.
How We Help
In our office we treat misalignments in the bones of the jaw, which is the actual case of TMJ syndrome. These bones will move out of place for many reasons, including chewing food, chewing gum, talking, or grinding the teeth at night. The jaw is one of the most powerful joints in the body. Its responsible for many demanding activities such as breaking down food into small enough pieces for you to swallow and process in your digestive track.
When bones move out of place in the jaw, we refer to it as structural shift in the bones. One of the earliest signs this occurred is popping or clicking when attempting to open your mouth. Some individuals will report restriction in how wide they can open their mouth. A later symptom is pain that occurs in the joint. At times they may be worse at night due to clinching the jaw. If you are having any of these signs, the earlier you see our office the better!
I complete a functional analysis of your jaw to determine if a structural shift is present, and if so the precise direction to correct it. This may sound uncomfortable but it truly is not. I complete each and every correction using a handheld instrument that is very gentle, even on the jaw. I have witnessed great results using this process. One client could not even open up her jaw beyond 1 centimeter. After only two treatments she was able to open her jaw fully without pain. Of course, each individual is unique and responds at a different pace.
On occasion, our massage therapists will assist in the treatment process. Muscles that attach to the jaw and the temple area of the head can become extremely tense. This tension tends to get worse with TMJ syndrome. It can become so significant that headaches may begin to develop. Relieving the tension with massage therapy is a valuable component to our care.
I encourage anyone that is currently suffering from TMJ syndrome, or suffered from TMJ syndrome in the past to come in to our office for a functional analysis of the joint. If a correction is needed, it will be the big step toward resolving your issue or preventing from occurring in the future.