Can a Chiropractor Help With TMJ?
About 12% of Americans experience TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain. The condition causes pain and discomfort centralized in the jaw and can lead to further issues such as chronic headaches. A chiropractor will help ease the pain and other symptoms and treat the underlying problem. Traditionally, the condition is a dentist’s worry, but chiropractic treatment is also highly successful.
How Chiropractic Treatments Help TMJ
The main focus of chiropractic treatment for TMJ is to alleviate pain and improve function in the jaw and surrounding muscles. This is done by using a combination of techniques such as manual adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and exercises to help realign the jaw, reduce muscle tension, and improve flexibility. Chiropractors may also focus on the cervical spine as well as the upper back and shoulders, as these areas are closely related to jaw function and can affect it. By addressing any misalignments or restrictions in these areas, chiropractors can help reduce tension and improve mobility in the jaw.
Identifying TMJ Pain
TMJ pain or TDM (temporomandibular disorder) describes problems affecting the area connecting the jaw and skull. Jaw pain/soreness is the primary symptom, but the condition has other signs, including swelling, headache, ear pain, jaw stiffness, dizziness, and tinnitus.
TDM patients may experience pain when chewing and biting. Other symptoms include a clicking or popping sound when opening/closing the mouth and sensitive teeth. A chiropractor can massage and align the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and joints, instantly relieving TMJ pain.
Performing Chiropractic Adjustment
A chiropractor’s adjustment includes manual adjustments and soft tissue therapy. The adjustment ensures every part is in a natural position, eliminating the stress caused by misalignments. The soft tissue manipulation provides pain relief and speed healing.
Adjustments from a chiropractor can resolve TMJ pain stemming from poor jaw alignment, stress, grinding teeth (bruxism), and jaw injury. The sessions will also relieve neck pain, tension, headaches, and cavitations (cracking and popping sounds).
Easing Stress and Tension
Some cases of TMJ pain result from excess physical and mental strain. Stressed nerves and tense muscles can benefit from adjustments and massage therapy performed by a qualified chiropractor. The treatment targets all muscles and nerves around the jaw, facial area, neck, shoulders, and back.
Chiropractors can release trapped nerves, relieve muscle tension, and address neck and spine dysfunction. The treatment also prevents swelling and promotes blood circulation to the jaw muscles. After completing a full treatment plan, pain and pressure around the jaw and neck area should be gone.
Treating Underlying Condition
TMJ pain stems from many factors. A chiropractor will complete a diagnosis to find the root cause of the pain and determine if their services are sufficient. Some conditions require a combined approach involving acupuncture, adjustments, functional medicine, and lifestyle changes.
A chiropractor’s services can speed the healing process if the underlying problem is jaw or muscle injury. Acupucnture will also reduce swelling, improve movement and boost oxygen and nutrient supply. By treating the root cause, the pain and other symptoms will disappear.
Soft Tissue Therapy
A chiropractor can work on the soft tissues around the jaw to restore normal functioning and release any trapped nerves and signals. The adjustments will rectify misaligned jaws and relieve tension in the masseter, temporalis, and pterygoid muscles.
A chiropractor’s specialty is soft tissue injuries stemming from trauma, repetitive stress, and other causes. Most chiropractors specialize in treating such issues and can help repair the damage, speed up healing, and relieve TMJ pain.
Integrated Healthcare for TMJ Pain.
A chiropractor can resolve TMJ pain, but each condition is different. TDM patients need an integrated health center with chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and physicians.
At Vida Integrated Health, all these specialists come together under one roof to discuss, review and determine the best remedy. Our goal is to work with the patient to help them heal and recover from TMJ pain and other health issues.
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