Ask Your Irvine Chiropractor: Can A Chiropractor Help Relieve TMJ Pain?

Ask Your Irvine Chiropractor: Can A Chiropractor Help Relieve TMJ Pain?

Do you wake up after a long sleep with neck tension, headaches, or aches and pain in your face and jaw? Do you hear pops and clicks when you open and close your jaw to speak or eat?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you may be experiencing a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge where your jaw meets your skull bone and is cushioned by a disc of cartilage that keeps motion smooth. When the muscles around the joint become irritated, the disc is displaced or damaged, and painful long-term issues may arise. While the condition remains largely underdiagnosed in the general population, your chiropractor can help relieve TMJ pain. 

 

Talk To Your Chiropractor If You Are Suffering With TMJ Pain

Commonly affecting 10-12% of young to middle-aged adults, TMJ disorders are nearly twice as common in women than men. The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine since there are many potential contributing factors. It can be caused by genetics, arthritis, jaw injury, or simply clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism). TMJ dysfunction is associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. In many cases, the specific cause of TMJ disorders is unclear, but your risk of developing TMJ pain is increased by many factors:

  • Chronic teeth grinding or clenching
  • Jaw injury or misalignment
  • Disc erosion or connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid or osteo-arthritis
  • A pinched nerve in the spine or increased muscle tension

In healthy condition, the temporomandibular joints act as shock absorbers, with a cushioning effect that will decrease joint misalignment or the chance of cartilage breakdown. A misaligned and uneven jaw can cause serious discomfort as it can affect the way you eat, talk, sleep, and breathe. TMJ disorders include signs and symptoms that significantly affect well-being such as: 

  • Difficulty or pain while chewing, or even a locking of the jaw joints
  • Popping or clicking when you open and close your mouth
  • A grating sensation when you chew, dizziness, or ringing in your ears
  • Throbbing facial pain, tenderness, and aching of your ears and one or both of the temporomandibular joints
  • Extreme tightness of the joint and neck or shoulder pain

Although the condition may initially feel manageable, if left untreated, the symptoms can increase and persist indefinitely. For severe cases, corrective surgery may be indicated to provide stability to the jaw area and resolve the pain, however, in many cases, a misaligned jaw can be treated with chiropractic care and exercises. 

How Your Irvine Chiropractor Can Help Relieve TMJ Pain
If you clench and grind your teeth during sleep, or have poor posture which leads to incorrectly positioned neck muscles and bones, a chiropractor can adjust them to reduce pressure on the nerves. Your chiropractor can also help alleviate pain using Active Release Technique (ART®) or advanced massage release techniques. Once the soft tissues and muscles in the shoulders, neck, jaw, and head relax, function returns and inflammation is reduced. Post-adjustment, your preventative care could include: 

  • Warm and cold packs to reduce inflammation in the area
  • Wearing a night mouth guard or orthopedic dental appliance
  • Reduce irritation with a soft diet when inflamed
  • Learning relaxation and stress reduction techniques

Relief From TMJ Pain With Your Irvine Chiropractor

While you may be able to manage the early signs of TMJ with stretching and home care, eventually the condition may increase in pain and limit your ability to enjoy life’s basic functions. At this point, it is likely you will benefit from chiropractic care to help alleviate the discomfort and re-establish a healthy range of motion. Your Irvine chiropractor can identify contributing factors to your TMJ pain and determine the appropriate adjustment to help you get back your natural range of motion. 

To schedule a consultation for your TMJ pain, reach out to one of our specially trained and highly skilled Doctors of Chiropractic Care in Irvine, California at Performance Health & Wellness by phone 1-949-476-1250 or fill out the online contact form.

FAQ

Good posture is a key indicator of good spine health. Where the goal is natural alignment of your jaw, it is bound to not only make your jaw and face feel better, but you will feel better all over from residual tension release in the surrounding area. Where appropriate, the team of Irvine Chiropractors at Performance Health and Wellness may suggest massage, wearing a protective night guard if you grind your teeth, or heat/cold therapy to reduce inflammation. 

With gentle, natural treatments, the Irvine Chiropractors at Performance Health and Wellness help the healing process by relieving muscle tension around the joints. Manipulating joints with nearby muscle release, sometimes going through the mouth, can help restore movement and reduce pain. Specific, non-invasive adjustments can be performed to restore normal function. 

A joint or spinal adjustment usually uses a quick movement to add motion to spinal joints that are not moving correctly. This helps the joints to correctly move again and sometimes slightly changes their position and puts them back into their correct place. An adjustment is not the same thing as when a person “cracks” or “pops” their joints and it is not recommended to try to give yourself a spinal adjustment as it can worsen the joint or cause damage. Only receive adjustments by professional chiropractors.

Connect With Our Team, Connect With Yourself

If you are seeking solutions to find complete wellness and to feel empowered to live your healthiest life, Performance Health & Wellness is the ideal partner on your journey. With a spectrum of comprehensive services to help you find balance and to feel good, our expert team is here to guide you.

Connect with yourself by connecting with the team at Performance Health & Wellness. Call (949)476-1250.

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