TMJ pain is a common complaint I see in the office. Many people come in and say, “I have TMJ.” First, let me explain what this means. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. It refers to the main joint in the jaw that controls its movement. Keep in mind, indicating “I have TMJ” is the same thing as saying, “I have a knee.” We all have TMJ, unfortunately, some people suffer from a very painful condition known as TMJ pain or Temporomandibular Syndrome (TMS).
People are surprised to learn that TMJ pain is often associated with issues in the neck (known as the cervical spine). When we have issues with the cervical spine, tension in the muscles surrounded the neck increases. These muscles are attached to the jaw and head and often cause headaches and jaw pain. When we have issues with the alignment of the TMJ (i.e. jaw) it can result in increased muscle tension around the jaw, temple and neck. This results in subsequent neck pain, headaches and jaw pain.
You may be asking “My jaw can misalign and move out of place?? I didn’t know this was possible?!?”
In fact, it is not only possible, but extremely common. Think about how much you demand of your jaw. Daily, our jaw moves thousands of times as we talk and chew. Chewing food, particularly meat, requires a lot of strength and demand on the jaw. Additionally, many people grind or clinch their teeth during sleep, which makes these symptoms worse. Many experience popping or clicking in their jaw because of the misalignment.
At Precision Chiropractic and Massage, we can help! If you are suffering from TMJ pain, during your initial visit we will assess your jaw and your neck to determine the source of the pain. It may be from one location or both. Subsequently, we adjust the spine and jaw using a gentle hand held instrument. This instrument allows us to precisely and gently move the bone exactly back into alignment. In some cases, our massage therapists work with clients to reduce the muscle tension surrounding the jaw, temple and neck area. This helps our patients gain symptomatic relief even faster.
We also recommend that patients follow-up with their dentist before or during this process. It is always possible that an underlying dental issue could be contributing to the pain. Additionally, dentists can be helpful in evaluating issues with bite placement and may make recommendations regarding bite guards, which can decrease the effects of grinding or clinching at night.
If you are experiencing TMJ pain, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a complimentary consultation. A consultation is only a conversation and never a commitment!
*For Informational Purposes Only