If you are suffering from TMJ pain, you may not want to deal with injections or other invasive forms of care. As a result, many have turned to chiropractic, and with good reason. There is growing evidence that chiropractic can help TMJ dysfunction. We’re going to look at some of this evidence and then discuss a specialty within the chiropractic field that can have positive effects on jaw pain.
What Is TMJ Dysfunction?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. TMJ dysfunction includes a series of medical issues that affect the jaw joints and the surrounding tissue. As a result, a person may feel pain in the jaw that radiates toward both the ears and the neck. Pain may occur in the face while speaking, chewing, or making certain expressions. The range of movement of the jaw may also be affected. Some patients experience a popping or clicking sound when using the TMJ.
A Small Study on Chiropractic and TMJ Dysfunction
The study noted above involved nine patients who were adjusted using chiropractic instruments. The findings revealed that the patient symptoms had improved. This makes sense because misalignments of the spine can affect the nerves and soft tissue of the body. In particular, the top bones of the spine are in close proximity to the TMJ.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and TMJ Dysfunction
Upper cervical chiropractors focus on these top two bones of the spine. When they are gently realigned using a low force correction, the surrounding nerves and soft tissue can have an opportunity to heal. While some upper cervical chiropractors use instruments such as those in the study, others use a more hands-on approach. But adjustments are always gentle, rather than the popping and twisting involved in general chiropractic.
If you are experiencing TMJ dysfunction, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, an upper cervical chiropractor may be able to help. Schedule a consultation with a practitioner near you to learn more.