Treatment For Jaw Pain: Chiropractic & PEMF Therapy
Do you experience jaw pain, or may clicking when you open and close your mouth? If you've been diagnosed with TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) dysfunction, you may be a candidate for chiropractic care.
In our office, we focus our adjustments on the spine in most cases, but we are comfortable adjusting the extremities (arms and legs) as well as the TMJ. Most often, a patient will have dental work done and have their mouth open for an extended period or they will get hit on the jaw via a punch or during sports. They start to notice pain and clicking and realize they have TMJ dysfunction.
What Causes Jaw Pain?
The jaw can become subluxated (shifted out of place) and you'll notice a "click" when you open your mouth, sometimes with associated pain. When we evaluate your jaw, we may also notice or comment on a deviating jaw. With a deviating jaw, you may notice that when you open your mouth, your chin will actually move to one side or the other as your mouth opens -- obviously, this isn't ideal. The deviating jaw can lead to more pain and further problems.
Spending time sitting in the dental chair may lead to stiffness in your jaw. The next time you move your jaw, you may feel something "pop" and now your jaw isn't working as well as it should. Your dentist will usually strive to keep you as comfortable as possible, and they do a great job at this. It's not a large percentage, but some patients come in with stiffness in the jaw joint following even a simple cleaning.
Sports, especially contact sports, may lead to collisions that cause your jaw to go out of alignment. While you can't avoid all collisions, wearing a mouthpiece and other protective gear can minimize the impact on your jaw.
If you find yourself stressed and not handling it well, you may become a "clencher." That is, you are frequently biting down and clenching your teeth to deal with your stress. While focusing on stress management won't fix your jaw pain, you may find that your pain continues to return even after seeing great results if you don't deal with this aggravating factor.
While not everyone is a fan, exercise is a great way to alleviate build up of stress and help your jaw muscles relax. There are many ways to deal with stress. Finding your favorite can be key in keeping your jaw pain away.
Let's hope it's not due to a disease, infection, or tumor. However, pathology is a possible reason for jaw pain. Some of these can be ruled out with x-rays, but if you don't see improvement with conservative treatment you'll need to seek additional diagnostic studies to see if anything is more serious.
Services That Work Best For This Condition
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How Do Chiropractors Treat Jaw Pain?
We will look at your jaw and feel for the clicking and any associated muscles that may be tight or in spasm. Then we will gently work on the muscles being effected and determine if we need to do an adjustment to the jaw we will do that next. Adjusting the jaw can occur one of two ways; either by using our hands or by using an Activator instrument to move the joint back into place. Since TMJ problems can be quite painful, we will often recommend ice and limiting how wide you open your mouth for the rest of the day.
Adjustments and muscle work to the TMJ are performed as needed. Generally, it only takes a few adjustments to determine if this is a treatment that will work for you or not. Most patients respond quickly and only have further problems when they repeat the activity that got them out of alignment in the first place (like going to the Dentist).
As with any condition, we don't accept patients for care unless we sincerely believe we can help. We are always happy to provide a consultation at no charge. If your jaw pain is being caused by a problem we think we can help, we'll proceed to an examination before determining treatment options for you.
The jaw misalignment may also be due to how the jaw connects to the skull. Chiropractors can adjust the occiput, which is the base of the skull. A combination of adjustments to the skull, neck, and jaw can make a big difference. To see how you are lined up, and to make sure you are safe to adjust, spinal x-rays are very helpful in the evaluation process.
We'll do our spinal analysis and show you your x-rays so you can see exactly what's happening and how we will approach your specific condition and misalignment.
PEMF Therapy is an additional therapy we can use to relax the muscles, increase the speed of healing, and decrease the inflammation that is causing the pain. This therapy is painless, and most patients experience a feeling of relaxation after a PEMF session. We will work with you after evaluating your condition to come up with a custom treatment plan to help you get the best results.
Having jaw pain doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life of pain and jaw clicking.
Let CORE Chiropractic help you get back on track with personalized chiropractic care, PEMF therapy, and a custom treatment plan. Call today for your consultation, or schedule an appointment online.