Chiropractors treat more than just low back and neck pain. Did you know that chiropractic care can also help to relieve jaw-related pain, also known as TMJ pain?
What is TMJ Pain?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint which is a hinge-like joint that connects your jawbone (mandible) to your skull (temporal bone). You can easily locate this joint by placing your finger in front of either ear while you open your mouth. Within the joint there is a cartilage disc that helps the jaw move smoothly and the TMJ is also supported by various muscles. One or multiple structures that make up the TMJ can be a source of jaw pain.
Common Causes of Jaw Pain
Pain is complex, so it is no surprise that there is typically more than one cause of jaw disorders. The most common cause of jaw-related pain is muscular tension. Increased tension can be due to:
- Grinding and clenching your teeth
- Direct injury to the jaw or a previous whiplash injury
- Stress and/or anxiety
The disc within the TMJ can also be displaced or dislocated. Common symptoms:
- Popping or clicking sensations
- Restricted jaw movements
- Jaw locking
The joint itself can be a cause of pain due to degenerative changes like arthritis.
Other Possible Symptoms
- Joint tenderness
- Aching pain by the ear
- Difficulty chewing
- Discomfort in the face, neck, and shoulders
How Chiropractic Can Help?
Most TMJ conditions respond well to conservative treatment like chiropractic. Your jaw will be assessed to reach a proper diagnosis and to determine if conservative care is appropriate for your case. Conservative treatment can consist of:
- Myofascial release on the muscles surrounding the jaw – this may include release on muscles inside of the mouth
- Gentle joint mobilizations/manipulation
- Recommended home care
If you are experiencing jaw pain, consider chiropractic. If you are interested, book an appointment online or give us a call at 250-545-7107.