Chiropractic care and treatment methodologies are proving to be beneficial to patients suffering from a wide range of ailments and pain. Chiropractic care is not only meant for treating neck pain and lower back pain, but other body parts as well.
People who suffer from jaw pain are unaware that chiropractors can help them ease the pain around the jaw joints. They mistakenly believe that all jaw pain is related to dental ailments– that’s not the case. So if you or a loved one has been facing constant jaw pain, it is time to consult a chiropractor, as your jaw pain can be managed or completely alleviated through chiropractic routines.
It is safer to manage the pain of jaw joints through chiropractic measures than to rely on pain medications. However, the most intense jaw pain (known as TMJ) can be due to teeth problems. Therefore, in such cases, you have to work hand-in-hand with your dentist and chiropractor.
Even though TMJ is a chronic situation that causes discomfort to individuals suffering from it, you can get good treatment results through chiropractic care.
What is TMJ?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a medical term that refers to chronic pain in the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that links the mandible to the skull. Generally, TMJ is a term that is used to describe conditions affecting jaw muscles, TM joints and facial nerves.
The TM joint operates differently in two ways. Firstly, it is a flexible bone, which helps to close and open the mouth. Secondly, it works as a sliding progression or translation. This is a function that allows the lower jaw to maintain a forward and downward movement.
The movement of the TM joint is normal where it motions forward and backward, and from one flexible side to another, to make talking, chewing, yawning and singing easy tasks to perform.
TMJ conditions occur mostly in younger individuals, and the causes can be connected to trauma to the jaw, injury, nail-biting, bruxism or teeth grinding, degenerated joint infections like disease in the immune system and/or arthritis.
TMJ Negative Effects And Symptoms
Many individuals around the globe are suffering one or two conditions of TMJ, and sometimes they endure it until it has become a part of their daily routines. Also, they do not have the slightest idea that the problem can be solved through chiropractic care.
Some TMJ patients use painkillers to get temporary relief, but chiropractic care can, in many cases, provide a total treatment for this condition.
There are many unbearable symptoms of TMJ, and they include the following:
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Neck pain
- Clicking sound when yawning or opening the mouth
- Ear pain
- Jaw pain when chewing or biting
- Stiffness in the jaw
- Sensitive teeth, disregarding dental problems
Chiropractic Adjustment For TMJ Conditions
When you decide to treat your TM joint problem, you can visit a chiropractic center near you where a chiropractor will examine your condition. The treatment will be focused on some significant muscles that must be evaluated and corrected for you to get better.
The suboccipital muscles, jaw vertebrae muscles and jaw joints are the three key muscles that the chiropractor will focus on during treatment. Through chiropractic care, you are assured that your misaligned jaw joints will be adjusted back to their actual positions.
Your chiropractor will locate the large muscle which raises under your jaw during a massage. This muscle is also known as the masseter, and it is responsible for chewing. You can feel the flexibility of your masseter by resting your hand on your cheek while trying to open and close the mouth.
Another area to be corrected is the temporalis. It is a thin muscle structure having the shape of a clamp. It is extended on each side of the jaw and aids in proper chewing or grinding. It can handle more pressure than the masseter since it includes the upper side of the head.
Some chiropractic procedures to relieve TMJ follow massages on soft tissue manipulations. Your chiropractor can help you with these massages or guide you to practice them at home. The exercises are good procedures to deal with the pain exerted on either or both the temporalis and masseter.
To ease the pain on the masseter, the chiropractor can work two fingers beneath your jaw joints. Work on the masseter involves giving it a gentle but skillful massage, dragging the mouth downward; If you are doing this at home, try opening and closing your mouth while mounting pressure on the masseter using two fingers.
It is best to carry out this exercise at home after getting proper guidance from your chiropractor, as you may need to repeat it as often as three times every day until symptoms fade away completely. Also, in each routine, you can do about 3 to 4 repetitions if you must see a faster result.
You can carry out the same exercise to ease the pain on the temporalis, but since it is a broader muscle than the masseter, you should use 4 fingers during the massage, using the same moves as the masseter even though you can also massage toward the ear region of your face.
Your chiropractor will help you with all this sort of soft tissue massage, as you may not get it right by doing it yourself. This routine is carried out to ease the pain in your pterygoid. Loosening pain in this area requires taking full advantage of both the teeth and the cheek.
After the soft tissue work has been completed, your chiropractor will move to accessing and adjusting your entire jaw through a chiropractic adjustment for TMJ care. This assessment helps in knowing or identifying which joint jaw on each side of the head opens first and which side hardly opens. If there is still a misalignment, the chiropractor further gives the jaw joint a few more motion adjustments. Sometimes, TMJ treatments are handled with dry needling for tight jaws or with pieces of equipment like the class 4 lasers, which hastens the healing done on the soft tissue.
Patients with TMJ conditions will have total relief if they opt for chiropractic care. Taking oral medication to ease the pain you feel in the joint of your jaw can be a temporary relief, but chiropractic treatment is different, as it works to heal your body in a safe and sustainable manner.
At Champion Wellness Centers of Valrico, our team believes in not only helping the patient get relief from TMJ but also ensuring that they never have to suffer the pain again.