Asking questions is the best way to learn, of course, and chiropractic patients often ask questions about some of the health issues they face. Some chiropractic patients are curious about back problems, for example, because chiropractors are well known for being extremely knowledgeable when it comes to spine health and the musculoskeletal system. A few chiropractic patients want to know about TMJ disorders.
Here are a few of the most common things chiropractic patients want to know about TMJ disorders.
Table of Contents
Chiropractic Patients Most Frequently Asked Questions about TMJ Disorders
What is a TMJ disorder?
A TMJ disorder affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is the joint where the jawbone connects to the head, just in front of the ear. The bones and muscles of the TMJ allow the jaw to move up and down, and side to side, enabling a person to talk, chew and yawn.
TMJ disorders (TMDs) can cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control the movement of the jaw.
How common are TMJ problems?
About 12 percent of the population experiences symptoms of TMJ at any given time, according to the TMJ Association.
What causes TMJ disorders?
There are several known causes of TMJ disorders, including:
- Trauma to the jaw or temporomandibular joint
- Dental procedures, especially those that require the mouth be open for a long time
- Insertion of a breathing tube prior to surgery
- Misalignments of the jaw
Grinding teeth, known as bruxism, may cause TMJ disorders but not everyone who grinds their teeth develops a TMD.
Medical professionals may not be able to determine the underlying cause of TMJ disorders in many cases but chiropractors can treat TMJ disorders even if the cause cannot be determined.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
Many people with TMD describe their symptoms as a dull, aching pain that comes and goes in their jaw joint and in nearby areas. Some people with TMJ disorders do not experience pain but have trouble moving their jaws.
Other common symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Pain or stiffness in the jaw muscles
- Chronic headaches
- Neck, shoulder pain
- Clicking, popping or grating of the jaw joint when the individual opens or closes his or her mouth
- Limited movement of the jaw
- “Locking” of the jaw
- Tinnitus, which includes ear pain, fullness, pressure, and ringing in the ears
- Dizziness, vision problems
- A bite that feels “off” when the person closes his or her mouth
What is the treatment for TMJ disorders?
The best way to treat TMJ disorders is to eat soft foods, ice the affected area with ice packs to ease pain and try to avoid extreme jaw movements, such as chewing gum or yawning.
Can a chiropractor treat TMJ disorders?
Yes, chiropractic safely and effective treats TMJ disorders. A chiropractor will perform a full evaluation of the patient’s temporomandibular joint and surrounding bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments to assess the full scope of the TMJ problem and determine its underlying causes. The chiropractor can then suggest a range of treatment that can include stretches and exercises that alleviate pain and melt stiffness in the jaw joint. The chiropractor can also detect and address any misalignments that may be contributing to TMJ pain.
For more information about the temporomandibular joint, TMJ disorders and chiropractic for TMJ problems, contact a chiropractor with experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ problems.
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Foot pronation is a natural movement during standing, walking, or running, however, excessive foot pronation can cause postural imbalances which can result in chronic pain, including low back pain and sciatica. Dr. Alex Jimenez, a chiropractor in El Paso, TX, can help diagnose and treat a variety of health issues associated with foot problems through the utilization of functional custom foot orthotics.
Functional custom foot orthotics are specially designed to accommodate every person’s unique foot anatomy. Excessive foot pronation can ultimately lead to poor posture, which can add unnecessary pressure to the spine and it’s surrounding structures. Dr. Alex Jimenez is the non-surgical choice for foot problems and other health issues through the use of functional custom foot orthotics.
Custom Orthotics Versus Store Insoles
Store-bought orthotic insoles are cheap but the cost to you and your health can be very high. Understanding the differences between over the counter and custom made orthotics is important. Foot Levelers customized orthotics provide the highest-quality and most effective orthotic out there.
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Over-the-counter insoles do cost less, but they only support one arch in the foot. When only one arch is supported, the structure can collapse, and that’s when problems can begin in other parts of the body. Over-support of one arch can cause pain and symptoms, instead of relieving them.
Orthotics Treat Much More Than Feet
Radiculopathy is associated with some of the most significant causes of chronic or acute low back pain. However, it is important to note that the condition itself does not cause pain. Instead, elements of radiculopathy, such as disc herniation, nerve root impingement, and facet arthropathy are actually what causes the pain.
Radiculopathy is a condition of the spine that occurs when a nerve is compressed, causing pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness along the nerve’s course. In the lower back, that course is in the leg. While it is most common in the lower back, radiculopathy can occur in the cervical or thoracic regions of the spine as well.
The temporomandibular joints, TMJ, are the lower jaw hinges that sit on either side of the head in front of each ear. They are responsible for the lower jaw opening, closing, sliding, and rotating. The TMJs are the most body’s most complex joints. The typical person uses them more than 5,000 times a day by talking, laughing, yawning, chewing, eating, smiling, and swallowing.
The information herein on "What To Know About TMJ Disorders and Chiropractic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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