Can Chiropractic Help TMJ?

‚ÄčIf you've been diagnosed with TMJ Disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder, you likely know a little about the condition. What you might not realize is that chiropractic treatment for TMJ can help relieve your pain. 

What is TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge connecting your jaw to bones in front of each ear. This joint is the mechanism that lets you talk, chew, and yawn. When you've injured your jaw, the joint, or had whiplash (which affects muscles in your head and neck), you can develop this condition. Other problems can lead to TMJ, including grinding and clenching teeth (often caused by stress). Sometimes the joint's socket is out of alignment which causes pain and discomfort. 

The result is severe tenderness or pain in the jaw or neck when you eat, speak or open your mouth wide. Your jaw might get stuck open. You might hear clicking or popping when you chew. Eating might be difficult as your upper and lower teeth don't fit together properly. Some people get migraine pain, a pain that often is triggered by overly tight muscles in your head, neck and shoulders.

Tips to relieve pain associated with TMJ:

  • Eati soft foods so you chew less
  • Keep your jaw and mouth as relaxed as possible, to relieve pressure on your jaw. Holding your teeth slightly apart is a good practice. Do this as often as possible. 
  • Practice stress reduction such as exercise, meditation, and massage
  • Wear a night guard to correct your bite, and get it into a more correct position. 

Chiropractic Treatment for TMJ

TMJ chiropractic techniques can be effective in relieving neck and shoulder pain from TMJ disorder. With manual adjustments, a chiropractor can help relieve your TMJ pain, including migraine pain, depending on the cause of your jaw disorder. During the adjustment, our chiropractors may press on your jaw, skull or upper spine to relieve irritated nerves. This helps increase your jaw's range of motion.

Active Release Technique is a soft tissue-based therapy your chiropractor may use. This tissue-based therapy breaks up adhesions and scar tissue in muscle and ligaments. This is proven to be very effective when combined with regular chiropractic treatments. In some cases, Active Release Technique is all that's needed to help control pain of TMJ Disorder.

Specific exercises can strengthen and help align the jaw joint so it works optimally. Neck stretches and strengthening exercises may also help to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ.

If you're suffering from pain from TMJ, we can help! Schedule an appointment with a Redondo Beach Chiropractor today.