Temporomandibular joint disorder (often abbreviated as TMJ, TMD, or TMJD) is estimated to affect somewhere between 5 and 12% of people. That makes TMJ pain one of the most common chronic pain conditions. While TMJ issues may be temporary for some, for others the condition is chronic. What are the symptoms of TMJD? What causes TMJ pain? Is there any way to find natural relief if you suffer from chronic pain? Read on to get the answers to these important questions.
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TMJD symptoms will vary depending on the underlying cause, but there are a number of potential indicators. Here are some of the more common ones:
If you are experiencing a number of these symptoms, then a form of TMJD is likely.
The reason why the number of people suffering from jaw pain is unknown is because many never seek treatment for TMJ pain. About 5% of people do, but it is expected that more than double that number experience problems at one time or another. Unfortunately, even if the condition seems to go away on its own, if the underlying issues aren't detected and addressed, pain may begin again at any time. Here are some potential underlying issues that lead to jaw pain and the other symptoms of TMJD.
There are also a number of chronic conditions that may lead to TMJ pain. Fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are examples of other autoimmune or neurological conditions that can result in jaw pain.
If you suffer from the above symptoms on a chronic basis, you may not be happy with many of the options presented to you. For example, wearing a mouth guard to sleep may prevent further damage from occurring, but it does little to correct the problem. Surgeries are invasive and can lead to the need for extensive recovery time. Medications may produce varying results and come with many unwanted side effects. And many natural forms of care just don’t provide the benefits they claim to.
For these reasons, we would like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic. This is a precise and gentle form of care that is likely very different from any other form of chiropractic you may have experienced. What sets upper cervical care apart and how may it help TMJ problems?
Upper cervical chiropractic is a subspecialty in the chiropractic field that focuses in the top two bones in the neck. These two vertebrae, the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis), are located right at the base of the skull. Thus, they are in close proximity to both the jaw and the ears. A misalignment can lead to many of the underlying neurological and vascular issues that affect jaw pain. How?
A misaligned atlas can put pressure on the brainstem. It can also shift the jaw out of alignment or even affect the function of the ears – leading to tinnitus, earaches, and vertigo. When the C1 and C2 are out of place, this can affect the trigeminal nerve. Such a problem may also affect the way blood flows to the head because tiny loops in these vertebrae called vertebral foramen are the path through which the vertebral arteries connect the vascular system to the head.
Upper cervical chiropractors use a unique method to diagnose and pinpoint upper cervical misalignments. Then, extremely gentle adjustment methods are used to render custom adjustments for each patient. When subluxations are corrected, the nervous or vascular systems may be restored to normal function. Jaw alignment may be corrected also. There may be pressure removed from the trigeminal nerve, the ears, or even the brainstem. This can help with many neurological and pain conditions as well.
If you have experienced a head or neck injury in the past, the likelihood of an upper cervical misalignment is high. To learn more, contact an upper cervical practitioner in your area. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step toward better overall health and well-being. And if the jaw pain is the result of an upper cervical subluxation, you may feel significant benefits right from the first adjustment.
The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.