Can A Chiropractor Help My Jaw Pain?
If you are a sufferer of jaw pain, you know it feels like someone has punched you really hard. When it comes to treatment, you might want to think twice before making an appointment. Instead of dialing up the dentist, you may want to call your chiropractor.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, more commonly known as TMJ, is inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects your mandible to your skull. TMJ is discomfort or pain in your jaw and often leads to earaches, headaches, neck, and shoulder soreness. Sufferers experience difficulty chewing, yawning, and even talking. This condition is common, affecting 20-30% of adults and can be caused by several factors including teeth grinding, excessive nail biting, trauma, and degenerative joint disease. Many people manage their pain with medication, bite guards, or even changing to a soft food diet. But your chiropractor can also be an effective alternative.
When working properly, the temporomandibular joint acts as a shock absorber for your jaw. But when you grind your teeth or chew excessively, the surrounding muscles become sore and the cartilage in your joint wears down and can become misaligned. When this happens, our temporomandibular joint cannot do its job properly, resulting in discomfort or pain. Using trigger point therapy, a chiropractor can relieve tension in the surrounding muscles and reposition the jaw. Sometimes, jaw misalignments are actually a result of poor posture and spinal misalignments. In this case, a chiropractic adjustment of the spinal joints in the upper back and neck could help relieve your TMJ. When proper motion is returned to your temporomandibular joint, your jaw can function as it should, and any painful side effects will subside.
Chiropractic care not only alleviates your short-term pain, but it can also prevent your TMJ from returning in the future. Many times, chiropractors will suggest at home exercises to their patients to strengthen the jaw joint. In addition to jaw-stretching exercises, reducing stress can help ward off TMJ, as you’re less likely to grind your teeth or bite your nails when you’re relaxed. A chiropractor can work with you to determine the best course of action to take to return you to a healthy, pain-free state.
For more information on TMJ or if you are suffering from this pain, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Our experienced chiropractors can help you find a solution and ease your discomfort. Contact Ideal Spine Health Center today and schedule your complimentary consultation.