Chiropractors treat a wide range of conditions that affect the spine. Temporomandibular joint disorders are just some of the issues they treat, but how can you be sure that you suffer from this ailment? Ultimate Health Clinic delves deeper into TMJ disorders. Below, we discuss just what this ailment is and how chiropractor treatment may be able to help relieve the pain associated with it.
Where is the TM Joint?
Your TM joint, which is the joint in your jaw, is located on both sides of your head. This joint connects your mandible with the temporal skull bone. The bones and joints are further connected by muscles that help to control the movement of the jaw.
Every time you open your mouth, the upper rounded ends of your mandible move. The rounded joint sockets in the joint glide in the bottom of your skull. When your mouth closes, they go back to the starting position. Most people who suffer from TMJ will hear a popping sound when the jaw returns to the starting point.
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. This is basically a bundle of different disorders that affect the joints or connections of the skull and jaw. When these points get swollen or become painful, it is referred to as TMJ. The cause is not always known and can vary from person to person or even between joints.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
Some TMJ symptoms are constant, while others present themselves only occasionally. Some of these are:
- Difficulty closing or opening the jaw
- Clicking and popping of the jaw
- Jaw becoming locked
- Pain in the face, jaw, or neck
- Trouble chewing
- Pain in one or both ears
The symptoms can differ between patients, but some are common among all who suffer from TMJ. Dizziness is one of the lesser common symptoms of TMJ but is known and if you’re experiencing it, you should be evaluated by a doctor to be sure.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
Chiropractors can help ease the discomfort caused by TMJ in various ways. The most common way they help is by reducing the tension and dysfunction that is affecting the spine. Once the dysfunction has been alleviated, the pressure on the nerves in the spine will be reduced, which, in turn, will help lower TMJ pain. It often takes regular chiropractic care to keep the pain of TMJ under control. There are also other side effects that can be relieved by regular visits with a chiropractor. Once you have been assessed and the cause of your TMJ identified, a comprehensive treatment plan will be created to treat your ailment.
How is TMJ Diagnosed?
Some of the symptoms of TMJ can also be a result of other disorders. To help determine if you suffer from TMJ, your chiropractor will ask you to complete a series of X-rays. These will show which areas of the jaw are not functioning correctly, which will allow them to identify the root cause of the disorder.
Once the TMJ has been identified, and your case is analyzed, your chiropractor will create a personalized treatment plan. Your chiropractic treatment may be a mix of Myofascial Release, chiropractic adjustments, active release therapy and/or modalities such as IFC, Ultrasound and Laser. These will target scar tissue, soft tissue, and the muscles in an effort to reduce the pain and discomfort of TMJ. Your treatment plan may also include advice on lifestyle changes to Most chiropractors will also coordinate your treatment with your dentist in order to be certain that the care plan is right for your situation. At times, a change in posture may also be suggested if your TMJ originates from the upper neck.
How We Can Help With TMJ
Temporomandibular joint disorders can be painful and difficult to live with. The chiropractors here at Ultimate Health Clinic understand your pain and are here to help. To find out more about our services or to set up a consultation, give us a call at (905) 251-0162 today.