How Chiropractic Care Can Resolve TMJ Pain

Your jawbone is connected to your skull with a pair of sliding hinges called temporomandibular joints (TMJs). When these joints are healthy, you don’t give them a second thought — you can open your mouth normally and chew your food effortlessly. 

In the United States, about 10 million adults experience chronic TMJ dysfunction, a persistent and distressing problem that can restrict jaw movement, make eating difficult, and give rise to severe jaw, neck, ear, and head pain.   

If you’ve been living with unresolved TMJ pain, we can help. At MultiCare Medical in Papillion, Nebraska, our team of TMJ specialists uses gentle, noninvasive chiropractic care to address the underlying cause of chronic jaw dysfunction and deliver lasting relief. Here’s how it works. 

Understanding TMJ pain

For some people, the first sign of TMJ dysfunction is an audible clicking or popping sensation in their jaw joints every time they talk, sing, yawn, or chew. While this strange phenomenon can be disconcerting, it isn’t usually painful — at least not at first.

As time goes on, however, TMJ problems only tend to get worse. For most people affected by the disorder, this means dealing with some degree of jaw tenderness or facial pain most of the time. TMJ dysfunction may present in one or more of the following ways:

Left untreated, TMJ dysfunction can lead to other worrisome health concerns, including limited jaw joint motion (lockjaw), chronic severe headaches, and even permanent bite misalignment. 

Diagnosing TMJ dysfunction

As with any disorder of the musculoskeletal system, the chiropractic care approach aims to resolve TMJ pain by finding and addressing its underlying cause. 

Before your doctor at MultiCare Medical can develop a treatment plan, however, they need to get a more complete understanding of the origin, nature, and severity of your problem. 

After going over your symptoms, they observe your jaw’s range of motion, feel and listen to your jaw joints as you open and close your mouth, and gently press the areas around your jaw to identify spots of discomfort. They may also use advanced diagnostic imaging tests (CT scan, MRI) to get detailed pictures of your bones and soft tissues.  

A thorough evaluation may reveal that your TMJ pain is the result of a degenerative condition like arthritis, long-term damage from a previous traumatic head injury, an eroded joint disc, a simple jaw or bite misalignment, or something else. 

Even when it isn’t possible to identify a single root cause of TMJ dysfunction, it’s still possible to assess the nature and severity of the problem to determine the best path forward. 

Chiropractic care for TMJ pain

The chiropractic approach uses gentle, hands-on manipulation to adjust your TMJs and release tension in the muscles and other soft tissues that surround and support each joint. Massaging specific trigger points can help relieve persistent areas of pain.

By combining high-frequency, low-impact chiropractic techniques with massage and trigger-point therapy, patients with TMJ experience improved jaw function and long-lasting pain relief.  

Regular chiropractic care for TMJ dysfunction can help realign your jaw, restore optimal range of motion within each joint, resolve contributing misalignments in your neck or upper back, and reduce or even eliminate chronic jaw, ear, neck, and head pain. 

To ensure the best possible long-term treatment outcome, your doctor at MultiCare Medical may also give you daily joint-strengthening exercises along with simple stretches to keep the surrounding muscles free of tension.   

If you’re ready to say goodbye to TMJ pain and dysfunction, we can help. Call 402-505-7989 to schedule a visit with one of our chiropractic experts today, or book an appointment online any time. 

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