Chiropractic Care and TMJ Pain
By Randi Morse
Most people have heard of the acronym TMJ before. While it has always been a medical condition, in the last handful of years it seems to have become one that is discussed more and more frequently. Doctors are learning that TMJ can cause many different symptoms including headaches, difficulty chewing, and neck pain. But what, exactly, is TMJ? Are there natural treatment options for it?
What Is TMJ?
The acronym TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This is a joint that is formed when your jaw and your skull connect. It is there that you can find all of the muscles and tendons that are necessary to allow for chewing. It's a very complicated joint because, not only does it allow for your jaw to move up and down, it allows for the jaw to move smoothly side to side. While we tend to call the disorder TMJ, the truth is that TMJ is just the name of the joint. The actual name is temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.
Bones cannot rub directly on each other, it's not good for them and can cause a great deal of pain. So the body creates a disc of cartilage that goes in between the jaw bone and the skull in order to help the jaw move easier and more smoothly. When the muscles in this area get irritated, or when you have a condition like arthritis or some other type of joint disease, the disc can be displaced. When this happens you may experience popping, muscle tenderness, clicking, or you may even be unable to open your jaw as wide as you normally would.
A difficult thing about TMD is that it can be tricky to treat. There are a number of conservative steps that you can take in order to help manage TMD-related pain, like using ice packs or learning techniques that help you to relax your jaw. Chiropractors often utilize a technique known as intraoral myofascial release. This technique helps to release the muscles that are around the joint which helps to alleviate the pain being felt from the displacement.
If you've been experiencing TMJ pain, visit The Joint Chiropractic to see how your local chiropractor can help ease your pain. The Joint Chiropractic has extended office hours and affordable rates, as well as a variety of different plans and package options to make treating your TMD as easy and uncomplicated as possible.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Diego, Calif.