The temporomandibular joint, abbreviated as TMJ, is where the mandible (jawbone) connects with the skull. These small joint connections can cause a variety of painful symptoms and issues when the joint cartilage becomes inflamed, damaged, or the bones are misaligned. TMJ problems are wide-ranging, and often difficult to determine the root cause. Therefore, TMJ issues are medically categorized as temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Most TMJ cases involve a noticeable “clicking” or “popping” sound when the jaw is opened or flexed. The constant movement of this joint from speaking and eating further compounds the issue and can cause individuals severe pain. People who suffer from TMJ also often clench or grind their teeth at night.
A common solution to painful cases of TMJ includes chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physical therapy.
How a Chiropractor Improves TMJ
Medical doctors often prescribe drug-related solutions like pain relievers, tricyclic anti-depressants, and muscle relaxers to help treat TMJ. Unfortunately these drugs don’t directly fix the issue within the joint.
A chiropractor can help TMJ patients with a variety of options depending on the individual’s case.
Aligning the Top of the Neck – The atlas (C1) and axis (C2) are the top two vertebrae in the spine. These two bones can be adjusted using a percussion instrument to help reduce nerve interference along the skull and jawbone.
Adjusting the Suprahyoid Region – The suprahyoid region is a group of muscles located under the mandible. By applying pressure to this location, better alignment of the joint can occur.
Massage Therapy – Stimulating and loosening muscles around the jawbone can also improve TMJ symptoms. Treating areas like the lateral pterygoid muscle can help lessen pain and reduce joint misalignment.
Physical Therapy – Exercising the muscles surrounding the joint has also shown to significantly improve movement and provide pain relief for TMJ patients. A chiropractor can recommend multiple exercise techniques like chin tucks or goldfish exercises that will improve joint health.
Chiropractors can offer TMJ patients multiple treatment routes that can benefit their disorder. TMJ can be a frustrating daily struggle and in some intense cases, even debilitating to certain individuals. However, chiropractic care has shown to be an effective method of addressing the joint condition in numerous studies.
Reinhardt Chiropractic is Here to Help Your TMJ
Upon entering our clinic, Dr. Reinhardt will conduct a full exam of your situation and spine health to determine any restricted movements and the condition of your temporomandibular joint.
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