You’ve been told wrong: The things we hear from patients that drive us CRAZY!
While, technically, you may be correct. You do have TMJ (temporomandibular joint). You also are unlikely to get rid of it unless you’re on the Walking Dead and Michonne makes you a walking, jawless zombie (sorry if this is a spoiler for any new Walking Dead fans).
What you’re more than likely referring to is TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). There are multiple reasons for disorders in this region. One of which can be muscular imbalances of the masseter, lateral and/or medial pterygoids, or the temporalis muscles. Another reason for disfunction of the TMJ includes subluxation (an incorrect placement of the joint without complete dislocation) and disc derangement. Subluxation and muscle imbalances may be caused by multiple different scenarios like injuries/force to the face or jaw, spinal (cervical to pelvis) misalignment, chewing gum, grinding teeth, clenching teeth, psychological stress, or overuse. At Cannon Pointe Chiropractic, we are trained in adjusting the bones that make up the cranium, which can have a direct influence on the TMJ, clenching, and grinding teeth as well as many other symptoms.
Some signs that you may have dysfunction of your TMJ include:
- radiating pain to and from the face, neck, or shoulders
- limited movement or locking of the jaw
- clicking and other noise while opening and closing the mouth
- over or under bite changes
- as well as headaches, migraines, dizziness, or ear pain
There are some benefits of having a dysfunctional jaw, however. You may be limited to soft or liquid foods… including ice cream. Who wouldn’t want a reason to have the diet consist solely of chocolate malts!
So, why have people been told that there’s nothing they can do? Most likely this is because few specialists address every issue. You may have tried using a mouth guard with little success or had massage/physical therapy that benefitted for a short period of time but always returned quickly. At Cannon Pointe Chiropractic, we address you, an individual, who is unlike many other individuals. We also realize that it is highly unlikely that there is only one singular cause for pain and disfunction. While it is true that there may be one significant underlying problem, by the time you feel any pain or show symptoms, the domino effect has already occurred. Muscles have been recruited, imbalances have been made, and your system has attempted to adapt. We address all of these issues to ensure that you recover in the quickest and most sustainable fashion. We always like to work with other practitioners when possible, including dentists prescribing mouth guards.
We address the structural issues with:
- manual adjustments to the jaw (always altered for your comfort level)
- deep trigger point therapy
- active muscular relaxation techniques
- cranial adjusting
- stress and nutritional monitoring
At times, neurological assessment and therapies may be necessary.
If you or someone you know is suffering symptoms that may be connected to TMD, feel free to give us a call at 507-645-8000. We’re here to make you feel and heal better. For other great articles about several different issues please check out our blog .