Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Do you suffer from any of the following conditions?
- Jaw locking?
- Pain and muscle spasm in the jaw?
- Headaches into the temples or behind the eyes?
- Headaches that are worse in the morning or with stress?
- Grinding or clenching your teeth?
- Ringing in the ears?
- Recurrent neck pain or undiagnosed vertigo?
- Difficulty opening your mouth?
If so, we may be able to help you! Problems with the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are generally called temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. Symptoms very widely and these complaints are often misdiagnosed because symptoms such as headache are not always associated with popping and clicking of the jaw.
Why see our Chiropractors?
The chiropractors at Spinal & Sports Care Clinic are specially trained in the treatment of injuries and complaints related to the Temporomandibular Joint, or TMJ. The most common cause of TMJ Disorders, or TMD, is irritation in the joints, muscles, and soft tissues in and around the jaw and upper neck. When these structures are irritated, it causes muscle spasms and tension in the muscles that open and close your jaw. This muscle imbalance leads to painful and abnormal movement of the joint. By improving joint motion, chiropractic treatment reduces pain and muscle spasm. To improve joint motion, we do more than just manipulate joints. In fact, we never do manipulation of the TMJ and get great results using gentle procedures.
What can we do for TMD?
There are different causes for TMJ pain and your treatment is individualized based on your type of TMD. Your treatment may include:
Low Force Joint Treatment: Low force means there won’t be any quick motions or jerking of your jaw, head, or neck. We use a variety of gentle procedures for improving mouth opening and addressing any accompanying issues in your spine.
Massage: Skillful intra-oral and external massage to the jaw muscles and neck reduces pain and tension.
Low Level Laser Therapy: This therapy helps reduce TMJ pain and inflammation and speeds healing. Laser therapy is painless and reduces recovery time.
Exercise Therapy and Homecare: We will teach you the necessary skills to help you heal faster such as self-massage, self-mobilization, when to ice & heat, and therapeutic exercises to strengthen and stabilize the involved joints and muscles.
Stress Reduction Techniques: To help eliminate continuous irritation to the jaw and neck, stress reduction may also be added to care. This includes techniques to reduce jaw clenching and relaxation breathing.
Integrative treatment approaches for your TMD
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD) are often complex problems requiring a comprehensive treatment approach. Over the last 27 years, we have developed a successful treatment program for producing long-lasting pain relief in patients suffering from TMD. This includes integrating techniques from massage, physical therapy, and chiropractic.
A team approach to TMD is essential and most of our TMD patients are referred to us from dentists and oral surgeons. Many patients use an occlusal splint, however, sometimes our treatments can eliminate the need for one. Everyone is different, and we regularly refer patients back to their dentist if a splint is needed.