Washington Park Chiropractic offers several TMJ treatment options. We see a lot of cases in our office and we wanted to show people how we would go about treating this ailment in our office. In February we featured all of these on Instagram, if you want more info, make sure to follow us on Instagram @washparkchiro!
When someone comes into our office complaining of jaw pain we may treat it in a variety of ways, depending on the severity. Through Chiropractic adjustments, massage, infrared laser and acupuncture, we have had great results in healing jaw pain and lessening symptoms.
What is TMJD? Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction is any pain or dysfunction of the Jaw relating to muscle tension, degeneration, arthritis, alignment due to trauma or repetitive stress. Symptoms can also include headache, tooth pain or locking of the jaw. Nearly 80% of people suffer some level of TMJD.
TMJ Adjustments: Sounds SCARY right?! Jaw adjustments are probably not what you think!. We rarely (but occasionally) apply a manual adjustment to the jaw. More often, our adjustments involve instrument assisted adjustments, distractive maneuvers and specific Theragun vibrational treatment to the jaw. Jaw malalignment can create pain and popping in the jaw or lead to headaches. Adjustments are one way that we start to alleviate pain related to TMJD.
TMJ Massage: Sounds LOVELY right?! What you should know about TMJ is your Temporomandibular Joint is made up of three major muscles, the masseter, temporalis, and pterygoids. These muscles are the primary chewing muscles in your mouth. More often than not, we tend to expect a lot from our jaw muscles from chewing to talking. Often times what exhausts these three muscles are eating hard food objects (chips, hard candies, nuts), chewing constantly (gum), or clenching/grinding. A focused 30 minute massage on these three muscles can create balance and cause change so that they can relax and feel less painful. A technique called myofascial release is another way to reduce muscle tightness resulting in less pain.
Infrared Laser: Infrared Laser Therapy for Jaw Pain and Dysfunction dramatically decreases pain (even chronic pain), improves opening and reduces popping and clicking. How does it work? Laser therapy uses specific wavelengths (red and near infrared) light to stimulate the body's healing process. It increases metabolic activity in the cells including increasing production of ATP. Sessions are just minutes long but boast great results when performed twice a week.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is one of the most effective drug-free modalities to reduce pain in and around the Temporomadibular joint. Because TMJ is often caused by clenching or grinding the teeth, anatomical variances and or injury and acupuncture can address all of the above. Stress is often the root cause of clenching and grinding and although acupuncture cannot remove stressors it can help balance the physiological reaction to it. In one treatment, an acupuncturist can address the root cause as well as the symptom of tight muscles an pain around the joint by needling locally to release the muscles and distally to affect overall balance in the system.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from TMJ or jaw pain, please call us to see what the options are for you. Typically, we will see the patient for a new patient chiropractic appointment, and from there create a plan and refer out to our massage therapists and acupuncturists as needed.