Chiropractic Corrects Dysfunctional and Painful Jaws
By Chris Brown
If you have started to experience an annoying pain and popping in your jaw, you should make time to stop by the chiropractor as it will likely only worsen if not treated. Jaw-centric facial pain is commonly the result of a problem called a temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is a complicated way of saying one has an incorrect jaw functionality. Treatment requires a doctor's evaluation and likely some personal lifestyle changes. But, while mainstream medicine offers only medicinal, surgical, and habit-changing treatments to mitigate future progression of TMD, chiropractors have been able to reduce pain and completely correct TMD in some patients.
What Causes TMD?
Although TMD can be caused by a traumatic jaw injury, oftentimes there are a range of issues that contribute to its development. Contributing factors can include genetics, arthritis, or bruxism (a clenching or grinding of the jaw) typically resulting from stress. Ultimately, these factors lead to dysfunction to either the jaw hinge, muscles, or even central nervous system due to problems with the upper spinal column.
How Chiropractors Can Help
Chiropractic has displayed success relieving symptoms and correcting causes of TMD, particularly when it results from a dysfunction in the upper spine. Mainstream medical treatments include anti-anxiety and pain medications, mouth guards, physical therapy, and mental counseling (to reduce stress-related irritation). However, mainstream medicine does not often address the physical causes behind the TMD pain and, instead, approach TMD by focusing on fixing a patient's bad causal habits (such as grinding or bruxism).
Chiropractic manipulation techniques, on the other hand, have shown great promise in healing the symptomatic causes of TMD. In the case of a 41-year-old woman diagnosed with TMD, chiropractic resolved the patient's symptoms completely following nine visits, while both mainstream doctors and dentists had been previously unsuccessful. Chiropractors were able to discover that the source cause of her TMD was a subluxation of her axis spine. Once the subluxation was corrected, the patient felt immediate symptom improvement. In a 2003 Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy study of eight individuals with ranging causes of TMD, all study patients experienced symptomatic improvement after both spinal and mandibular adjustments.
If you feel the jaw popping or facial pain of TMD, the doctors at The Joint Chiropractic can help. Treatments are affordable without insurance, so don't wait another day to address your nagging facial pain. Utilize The Joint's walk-in sessions to experience the proven treatment of chiropractic for yourself at a moment's notice.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Antonio, Tex.