What is TMJ or TMD?
TMJ or Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), is an umbrella term that describes acute and chronic inflammation of your temporomandibular joints (which connect your skull to your mandible). TMJ is a broad term that refers to TM joints and jaw muscles as well as facial nerves.
TMJ can cause pain around or near the ears, headaches and neck pain. Jaw pain and soreness may also occur. These symptoms show how your jaw muscles can impact surrounding muscles and joints.
Two small joints on either side of the jaw are called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Your jawbone and skull are connected by the TMJs. It connects the lower jaw bone, which is your mandible, to each of the temporal bones on the skull. Attached to your mandible, are the muscles that control the joints allow you to move the jaw.
The rounded ends of each jaw’s upper end glide down the socket of the skull. When you close your jaw, they will slide back into their original positions. Many people suffering from TMJ experience popping sounds in their jaws.
If these joints become inflamed or irritated, they can lead to pain in your jaw and muscles controlling jaw movement. TMJ disorder can be painful if the disc becomes misaligned or is eroded.
The muscles involved with jaw movement are your masseter which is the thick muscle located in your upper jaw that helps with chewing. You can feel the masseter moving by placing your hand on one cheek. The temporalis muscle is the smaller, more clam-like one on either side of your head. It is essential for chewing, and it covers more area than your masseter (including your temples).
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for pain in your TMJ. You may experience pain in the TMJ due to arthritis, trauma or other factors. Jaw pain can cause people to grind or clench their teeth.
Chiropractor for TMJ Adjustment and Treatment
Manual therapy is a good option to mobilize the TMJ joints. If you grind your teeth during sleep, you might need to see your dentist for a mouth guard. Ice and anti-inflammatory medications can also be used to help. Corticosteroid injections may be helpful in persistent cases.
Do chiropractors help TMJ? Yes, TMJ treatment can help relieve pain. You also have the option to do soft tissue work at home. This will help reduce swelling and pain.
After the chiropractor completes the soft tissue treatment for jaw pain, he can adjust and evaluate the jaw using a TMJ chiropractic adjustment. To determine which jaw should be treated first, the chiropractor will feel for the openings of each side. With a gentle push motion, he adjusts the jammed side first. Then the opposite side. He reassess the adjustment and will often find that the jaw joint has been realigned. TMJ therapy can also be used in combination with dry needling to loosen the jaw or with laser class 4 treatment to accelerate the tissue healing.
Dr Ian Nothling is a Chiropractor for TMJ
Dr Nothling is qualified in treating TMJ disorders and experienced in TMJ adjustments and soft tissue work as well as dry needling. You can book a TMJ chiropractic adjustment with Dr Ian Nothling at Scofield Chiropractic Clinic in Sudbury on Tel: 01787 372825.