Did you know that the temporomandibular joint controls your jaw movement? The name is a mouthful, but if you consider all the cool things your jaw can do because of this joint – open, close, glide forward, slide backward, move side to side – then it is worth it.
The temporomandibular joint is incredible when everything works as expected. However, some conditions can trigger what is known as a TMJ disorder. This article covers some of the things you can do to achieve TMJ pain relief.
What is TMJD?
A TMJ disorder elicits pain in the jaw area. The muscles can feel tender to touch. Necessary activities like chewing, laughing, and yawning now come with a dose of pain.
Doctors have different takes on this disorder’s real causes, but the usual suspects are family history, inflammation of the joints, and jaw injury due to head trauma.
These can also lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD):
Major accidents in vehicular collisions can injure the body, particularly in the head and neck areas. Sometimes, the damage is not detected right away.
Minor tumbles at home like when you slipped on a wet surface might be cause for laughter. In some cases, the impact of the fall on your backside can extend to your neck. It can also affect your jaw. If you have recently figured in an accident, please have yourself thoroughly checked.
Athletes think that headgear will protect them from head injuries. For the most part, yes. But moves like body tackles can make the head snap and cause jaw injury. Also, basketball players are exposed to body contact with no protective gear at all. As an athlete, these are some serious considerations.
What Are the Remedies for Chronic TMJ Pain?
When considering TMJ pain relief, there are different choices available. Here are some remedies you can implement on your own:
Bite-size food is the way to go.
Getting a mouthful of that juicy steak is always fun, but not so much when you have chronic TMJ pain. If you still want to enjoy your steak, slice it down to bite sizes. This way, you will not make your jawbone and muscles exert so much effort. There might still be some pain, but at least it will not be as jarring.
Skip the nuts for now.
Munching on your favorite nuts might be something you have to miss out on till your TMJD goes away. The constant pounding movement to break down the nuts can aggravate your condition. You might opt for some smooth peanut butter to satisfy your cravings. If your TMJD is due to arthritis, the nuts can worsen your situation, so skip it altogether.
Soup and smoothies for the win.
Hearty soups and refreshing smoothies might help you alleviate the pain. Soups are filling and won’t trigger any discomfort. If you can get the blended version of your favorite food, then go for it. This way, you don’t have to deprive yourself of anything while dealing with the pain.
Ice and heat it.
Alternate applications of ice and heat packs can help reduce swelling in the affected areas. This may lead to TMJ pain relief. Make sure to wrap your packs in a soft cloth to avoid skin burns.
Switch to non-voice communication.
Instead of voice responses, why not respond in chat or email formats? These two will not be taxing on your jaw. If this is not something you like to do, consider this a temporary option while your jaw heals.
Limit jaw movements to the necessities.
Instead of breaking out in guffaws, maybe smiling will do for now. Try to limit your jaw movements to as few as possible. Avoid concerts and championship games until the pain subsides.
Sleep on your back.
And make sure you have pillows on each side that will deter changes in position while you sleep. Altogether sleeping on your back might not be the ideal position if you prefer to sleep on your side. However, this might be the only position that will not apply pressure on either side of your jaw.
Upper Cervical Care for Effective TMJ Pain Relief
It might help to see a medical professional and determine what is causing the pain in your temporomandibular joint. Upper cervical chiropractors have encountered scenarios where some injury to the head and neck unhinged the TMJ, which triggered the pain. In some cases, an accident can cause bone gaps or disc misalignment in the neck. Such misalignment cases have led to a TMJD.
In these instances, an upper cervical chiropractor completes full evaluations, which include a personal check-up and XRays. The results of the exams will help determine the course of action. An upper cervical chiropractor works with people afflicted with TMJ disorder in determining the appropriate therapy plans. Using precise and correct techniques and a gentle approach, an upper cervical chiropractor can restore the neck area’s alignment. Depending on the seriousness of the misalignment, it is possible to complete the realignment in a few visits.
Upper cervical chiropractors intend to restore your neck’s alignment to alleviate any pain. They believe that your well-being is of utmost importance, so they work with you in finding relief from TMJD pain. When they are successful in our realignment therapy, they will continue to work with you to make sure you avoid misalignment issues again.
UCA’s directory shows details of our partner upper cervical chiropractors all over the country. Please take a look and find a chiropractic professional in your area. It may be your first step towards TMJ pain relief.