The TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint, is the joint where your jaw ties into your skull. A TMJ disorder can ruin your quality of life, leaving you in excruciating pain and unable to enjoy daily activities or perform work duties. Help can seem hard to find, relief may be as close as your chiropractor's office. Even a few visits for neck and jaw adjustments can have amazing affects for TMJ sufferers.
The causes of this condition are not certain, but chiropractors believe it can be from a misalignment in the upper neck which controls the motion of the jaw joint, or an actual misalignment of the jaw itself! This misalignment can come from an injury, chronic stress, grinding your teeth, or clenching during sleep. Daytime stress may also cause people to bite down and tighten their jaws, harming the joint and causing discomfort.
Pain in the jaw, discomfort into the ear, problems chewing, facial pain, headaches, or cracking, popping and grinding of the jaw may be signs of a TMJ disorder. In some cases, the jaw will actually "lock," making it difficult to even close your mouth.
Studies have shown chiropractic adjustments have been effective for many who struggle with TMJ. Neck adjustments and adjustments of the jaw itself have been shown to relieve pain, eliminate joint clicking and stop jaw locking, often after a relatively short period of time.
Chiropractors also are an excellent source of patient education and can help you identify stressors in your life that are causing you to clench.
Before resorting to more drastic measures, such as surgery, sufferers may benefit from seeking chiropractic care. Chiropractors offer natural, non-invasive treatments for your pain and muscle tenderness, and their methods can bring prompt relief.