The term TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint and refers to any problems associated with it. This joint has the important job of connecting the lower jaw to the skull and helping you to chew and talk. If something causes this joint to not work properly, you will experience the painful condition TMJ.
What Causes TMJ?
Here are just a few reasons for TMJ to occur:
- Cartilage damage due to arthritis
- Swelling in the joint
- Damage due to an injury
Symptoms of TMJ
Symptoms can vary depending on how severe your personal situation is. Most common symptoms include:
- A clicking or grinding noise when you open and close your jaw
- Discomfort when chewing
- Jaw pain or tenderness that radiates to the neck and face
- An achy feeling or pain near the ear
- Inability to open the jaw as much as you used to
So, what can be done for TMJ? Must you resort to medication to cover over the pain, or is there a natural way to care for it? Thankfully, there is something natural that can be done to address the pain and also care for the underlying cause so that it will, hopefully, not return again.
TMJ and Proper Spinal Alignment
TMJ has been linked to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. This is especially true if it has come about due to an injury. If the C1 or C2 vertebra, the top bones of the neck, have moved out of alignment, the result can be tightening of the muscles in the face, neck, and jaw, Pain and swelling may also accompany this type of misalignment.
Here at Living Well Chiropractic in Plymouth, Minnesota, we take a different approach to helping the bones of the neck realign. Once we have discovered where your specific misalignment is located, we use a gentle method to help this bone move back into proper alignment. We do not pop or crack the neck to get results. Once corrected, the muscles of the face, jaw, and neck will relax, and TMJ may become a thing of the past.
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Dr. Jeff Leach of Living Well Chiropractic, in Plymouth, Minnesota is a Plymouth Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). His upper cervical clinic also serves Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Wayzata, and St. Louis Park. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, sciatica, neck and back pain, and torticollis. More information can be found on our website at http://www.livingwellmn.com/