Chiropractor Little Falls MN have seen that 85%-95% of individuals will develop some TMJ symptoms in their lifetime with women being more likely to suffer from it than men. Curiously, people who consider themselves as “tense” are more likely to suffer from TMJ pain The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is complex and susceptible to the same type of injuries as other joints; namely, sprains/strains, misalignments, muscle imbalance (tightness/weakness), degenerative changes, and nerve issues. The jaw is the most dynamic and powerful musculoskeletal structure, for its size, in the human body. The jaw is moved by basically four muscles: the medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid, masseter, and the temporalis. These muscles are controlled by the Trigeminal Nerve and are able to move the jaw in many different directions.
The TMJ’s health and proper function are dependent on two elements: the alignment of the bones that makeup the joint while at rest and the coordination of the muscles moving the joint when in use. Both environments are dependent on the integrity of the nerve-muscle-joint relationship which a chiropractor Little Falls MN can help. Arthritis of the TMJ is more prevalent in the elderly population and signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder tend to decrease with age. And although the TMJ may very well be the source of jaw pain, it is also quite common, although relatively unknown by most chiropractor Little Falls MN, for it to be a source of pain for both neck, head, face, sinus, and ear pain. Because its workload is seemingly never-ending and is repeated on a daily basis for the entirety of one’s life (little known fact about the TMJ: it is active when we are awake and while we sleep) it is prone to a substantial amount of wear and tear. It is formed by two bones (the skull and the mandible) being held together by a fibrous and tough joint capsule. Within the capsule is fluid and a cartilage disc that helps reduce friction and allows the joint to glide easily when functioning normally. These structures, however, are prone to deterioration when the joint becomes dysfunctional.
Common Causes of Jaw Pain:
- Lymph node inflammation
- Dental cavities
- Ear infection
- Bony tumor
- Referred pain from muscle trigger-points
- Trigeminal neuralgia
Many TMJ issues come from habits and functions of the individual. Which is why it’s important to focus on identifying with a chiropractor Little Falls MN what those may be in order to prevent the issue from returning. The following habits/functions may need to be assessed: nail biting, breathing, swallowing, daytime clenching, nighttime clenching, position of head while asleep, drinking, gum chewing, tobacco smoking and chewing, whistling, etc.
Signs and symptoms associated with TMJ dysfunction:
- Face pain on one side
- Clicking of the jaw
- Locking of the jaw
- Grinding of the jaw
- Jaw movement that “deviates”
- Jaw movement that is restricted
- Tinnitus (ringing of the ears)
- Neck stiffness/pain
- Pain in the jaw
- Pain in the muscles surrounding the jaw
- Pain felt in the:
- Sinus congestion
Although often seen as the domain of a specialist, many TMJ and jaw issues can be effectively assessed and treated by chiropractor Little Falls MN. The first step in getting rid of symptoms is finding their cause. At Chiro Plus Rehab we start with a thorough assessment of the TMJ for misalignments, and muscle tightness and imbalance. After that, the spine is assessed for alignment and muscle balance as well. We also inquire about dental history and measure your jaw’s “gait” (how well it opens and closes). When needed, we also take digital x-rays. Basically said, a chiropractor Little Falls MN will set our jaw in determining what’s hurting yours. Although most TMJ issues are benign, meaning that they don’t progress into a serious disease, it’s important to know that, like other joints, if their dysfunction isn’t corrected it’ll worsen and likely so will the pain.
At Chiro Plus Rehab we combine adjustments, hands-on muscle therapy, and therapeutic exercises that are specifically for the TMJ. We also provide modalities like ultrasound to eliminate pain as quickly as possible. We then provide you with self-care advice to first, reduce the inflammation (through various means such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, supplements, herbs, teas, and icing) and second to reduce the amount of mechanical stress that is put on the TMJ. Thirdly and lastly, we’ll teach you and help you practice jaw “relaxation” techniques. This is usually achieved by first, the patient becoming aware of his or her poor habits (postural, swallowing, chewing, etc.) and then to be instructed in advice from a chiropractor Little Falls MN like “lips apart and jaw relaxed”. This self-care advice is crucial for the TMJ problems because a large amount of patients with this issue will suffer from a return of symptoms without it. That’s why at Chiro Plus Rehab we vow to help you keep things good once they’re there. Why? Because our goal is to provide effective, fast relief so you can get back to life.
If you’re suffering from TMJ problems, don’t wait. Give this chiropractor Little Falls MN a call at 320-632-9224 and schedule your $37 New Patient Special today. Don’t live another day with pain. We can help. Call us!
A Doctor’s Note:
Chiropractor Little Falls MN often see that problems of the jaw can range between barely noticeable to greatly interfering with day-to-day life. Beyond that, people tend to chalk up their jaw pain as “a part of life” or “a normal part of the aging process” which, to put it plainly, it’s not. Many of our patients are pleasantly surprised how simple it is to get relief from TMJ/jaw pain and how easy it is. The problem, I’ve found as a chiropractor Little Falls MN , is simply a lack of know-how. It’s like this: everyone knows how to care for their teeth, but almost no-one knows how to care for their joints, especially the jaw. So by clearing up any alignment issues and learning how to “brush your teeth”, but for your jaw, pain relief may be closer than you think.