Exploring the Chiropractic Treatments for TMJ and Jaw Pain

By Dr. Drew Voelsch

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a common condition affecting millions worldwide. The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty chewing or speaking. 

Chiropractic care, however, can alleviate these symptoms. This article will discuss in greater detail how chiropractors can help with TMJ and jaw pain.

What Causes TMJ and Jaw Pain?

TMJ and jaw pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:

  • Injury or Trauma to the Jaw or Head
  • Teeth Grinding or Clenching (Bruxism)
  • Arthritis
  • Misaligned Teeth or Jaw
  • Stress or Anxiety

Symptoms of TMJ and jaw pain may include:

  • Pain or Tenderness in the Jaw, Face, Neck, or Ears
  • Difficulty Chewing or Speaking
  • Popping or Clicking Sounds Upon Opening or Closing the Mouth
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Lockjaw

How Can Chiropractors Help with TMJ and Jaw Pain?

Chiropractors are trained to find and deal with musculoskeletal problems, including TMJ and jaw pain. Chiropractic treatment for TMJ and jaw pain may include:

1. Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation is a technique chiropractors use to realign the spine and relieve pain. When the vertebrae are not properly aligned, it can cause tension in the muscles controlling the jaw, leading to TMJ and jaw pain. By applying controlled force to the spine, spinal manipulation can help reduce tension and alleviate pain.

2. Soft Tissue Therapy

Soft tissue therapy involves manipulating the soft tissues in the body, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons, to decrease discomfort and tension. Chiropractors may use different techniques, like massage or trigger point therapy, to help relieve pain and discomfort related to the jaw and TMJ.

3. Jaw Exercises

Chiropractors may recommend jaw exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control the jaw. These exercises may include closing and opening the mouth, stretching the jaw muscles, and moving the jaw from side to side. Strengthening these muscles can also help improve jaw function and reduce pain.

4. Lifestyle Changes

Modifications to one’s way of life can alleviate TMJ and jaw pain. For example, they may suggest avoiding hard or chewy foods, using heat or cold therapy, and doing stress-reduction methods like meditation or deep breathing.

What to Expect during a Chiropractic Visit

During your initial visit, the chiropractor will conduct a thorough examination to identify the cause of your pain. They may ask you to perform various movements to assess your jaw function and range of motion. They may also take X-rays or other diagnostic tests to help identify any underlying issues.

Based on their findings, the chiropractor will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. This plan may include spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, jaw exercises, and lifestyle changes. The number of visits required will depend on the severity of your condition and how well you respond to treatment.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatment for TMJ and jaw pain offers several advantages, including:

  • Non-Invasive: Chiropractic therapy for TMJ and jaw discomfort is a harmless procedure that does not involve any surgical operation or medication.
  • Safe: Chiropractic treatment is generally safe and has few side effects.
  • Effective: Chiropractic care can be beneficial in reducing the discomfort of TMJ and jaw pain by tackling the underlying issue that is causing the problem.
  • Personalized: Chiropractors develop customized treatment plans based on each patient’s individual needs.

Key Takeaway

TMJ and jaw pain can be debilitating conditions affecting your ability to eat, speak, and live. Chiropractic care may alleviate these symptoms by addressing the root cause of the problem. If you are suffering from TMJ or jaw pain, consider visiting a chiropractor for personalized treatment that can help you regain your quality of life.

If you’re searching for a chiropractor for TMJ and jaw pain, we at Hawkeye Chiropractic offer personalized treatment plans that address the specific needs of each patient. Our experienced chiropractors can determine the cause of your pain and develop a plan that includes adjustments, exercises, and lifestyle changes to help alleviate your symptoms. Call us today at (847) 472-1224 to book a consultation!