Chiropractic Adjustments For TMJ Disorders

Health & Medical Blog

Your temporomandibular joint, more commonly known as the TMJ, can cause you severe pain when you talk, chew or even breathe. This shouldn't happen normally, but if your spine is out of alignment or you have widespread arthritis, you could have discomfort with the even the slightest jaw movement. If you have chronic jaw pain, you'll need to visit your dentist to get a thorough exam and proper diagnosis. Once he or she determines that you have a TMJ disorder, you'll have several treatment options -- from medications to bite guards -- to help minimize your discomfort.

One treatment method that's often overlooked though is chiropractic care. Your chiropractor can help you work through your jaw pain and manage your symptoms, even at home. This way you may avoid having to take narcotics for pain or might possibly avoid going through the absolute last resort: surgery.

TMJ Pain and Your Posture

TMJ pain is sometimes caused by poor posture. Take this scenario for example: If you're regularly sitting at a desk in front of a computer, you probably slouch and hang your head forward. This causes your entire spine to be out of alignment, all the way up to your neck, which pulls on your jawbone. Even regularly sitting in front of the television or driving for long periods of time can be problematic for your overall posture.

What Your Chiropractor Does

Your chiropractor will go over all of your symptoms and will probably want to take some x-rays of your spine. After that, he or she will do an assessment to see if anything is clearly out of the ordinary -- you'll have to mimic the chewing motion so he or she can monitor your jaw alignment. Your chiropractor is an expert in determining exactly what's out of alignment in your skeleton. Once he or she determines the issue, you'll have an adjustment. Depending on your chiropractor and your specific needs, he or she will manipulate your spine manually and move your body into certain positions to realign everything. Or they could use a device to push vertebrae back into place as an alternative.

Additional Care

In addition to a spine adjustment, your chiropractor might massage your neck and jawline to improve blood flow to those areas. Some chiropractors also apply electrical stimulation to the problem areas. Once your treatment is done, he or she may apply heat or ice to your jaw joints to relieve inflammation from the treatment. Usually your chiropractor will also teach you how to do exercises and relaxation techniques on your own, to minimize any discomfort between visits.

If you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, visit a chiropractor, such as Ridge Chiropractic, to see how they can help.


8 October 2014