Is your Jaw Pain TMJ?

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is an incredibly painful condition that is situated within the muscles of the jaw and cheekbone. The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge which is the connection from your skull to the jawbone.

TMJ can be caused by your genetics, trauma to the jaw or even arthritis. Nocturnal tooth grinding and clenching can also play a role, though tooth grinders don’t always develop TMJ.

Common complaints include pain, stiffness, clicking sounds that are audible to others and even having your jaw lock up from time to time. It may even extend to a dull ache around the ear and back of the head. Chewing may cause pain as well. These are all a result of the jaw itself becoming misaligned. Over time if not corrected adhesions can form in the muscle keeping the jaw out of place.

Whiplash from auto accidents can be an initial cause of an onset of TMJ. When ligaments tear or stretch it can pull the jaw out of position. Other injuries involving the facial area can have the same results.

If not treated properly, over time degeneration of the disc between the jaw and the skull can occur, wearing away which leaves only bone on bone to rub together wreaking havoc on the nerves located in that area.

Visiting your Chiropractor for jaw pain can be a tremendous help. They take an overall approach to well-being and help to determine the cause and the resulting best course of action.

Manual adjustments may be used as a treatment for the jaw disorder. Your doctor may press on areas of your skull, jaw and upper spine in order to help relieve irritated inflamed nerves increasing your jaw’s range. The active release technique which is a soft tissue based therapy is likely to be used. This manipulation can help your body break up the adhesions as well as scar tissue on the muscles and ligaments. When combined with regularly scheduled chiropractic treatment it has proven to be a very effective method to obtain healing and pain relief. 

Leading experts at The National Institutes of Health recommend these treatments as the best course of action. Noninvasive treatments should always be tried first, rather than automatically leaning towards aggressive treatments such as surgery and implants, which penetrate the tissues of the face, jaw or joint.

If you have facial pain, jaw pain or grind your teeth in your sleep come in and talk to us at Nutrition Specialists of Florida or give us a call at 239-947-1177.

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