If you suffer with jaw pain or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) Part 3 of our Bodyquirks Parts is Parts series is for you. TMD (often mistakenly called TMJ for the actual name of the joint it affects) causes tenderness and pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ.) Located on each side of the face where the lower jawbone meets the skull, the TMJ is what allows you to open and close your mouth to talk, chew or yawn.
Disorders in this area can be caused by a variety of issues like arthritis, injury or teeth grinding. If your TMD is caused by repeated clenching or grinding of teeth (called bruxism), using a night guard can be helpful (your teeth can wear down from this and even throw your bite off.)
In most cases, the pain and discomfort of TMJ disorders can be managed non-surgically, by following recommendations to stop eating chewy, hard foods and through the holistic treatments such as chiropractic, acupuncture and most effective, bodywork modalities. If severe enough or left untreated, dental or medical intervention, such as surgery, may be necessary.
We find that CranioSacral therapy can be of the most effective treatments for the pain or discomfort of TMJ as well as Ligament work, which works to release the jaw, providing relief.
TMJ disorders can also cause ear dysfunctions that effect things like your balance by putting pressure on your inner ear. As the muscles get tighter and tighter in this area it shifts your jaw. If you look at the anatomy of your jaw joint and inner ear, they are intimately related to each other, occupying the same space, just at difference depths. The pressure caused by the tightening of the muscles and the movement of the joint can also manifest as a bad headache, sometimes even migraines. Even a tight neck, due to stress, can also contribute. In these cases, we find that many times people who suffer from chronic headaches get a lot of relief when the sternocleidomastoid muscles are released together with the trapezeus, levators, and any and all neck muscles.
If you suspect you are suffering from TMD or have been diagnosed with a TMD, feel free to contact us. We can tailor a treatment to your specific complaints and needs, helping to ease the pain and discomfort of TMJ related issues.