When most people think of the work a chiropractor does, their thoughts would usually move straight to low back, mid back, and neck pain. Perhaps the last place you’d expect a chiropractor to receive pain is in your jaw.
However, jaw pain is a commonly encountered issue we treat here at Perth Allied Health Clinic.
What is the TMJ?
The TMJ is the temporo-mandibular joint. It connects the lower jaw to the skull in the front of the ear. Certain facial muscles that control chewing are also attached to the lower jaw. You can easily find your TMJ by placing your fingers in front of either ear and opening your mouth.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
TMD (Temporo-Mandibular Disorder) is a collective term for functional and structural disorders that involve TMJ, and or muscles of head & neck that support and surround it. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Trouble opening and closing the mouth
- Jaw locking, clicking or popping
- Jaw Pain (obviously)
- Neck or facial pain
- Ear pain
How can my chiropractor help?
Our Chiropractors at Perth Allied Health Clinic will first assess the cause of your TMD. Most TMJ conditions respond well to conservative management by a Chiropractor.
If we decide your specific cause of TMD can benefit from chiropractic treatment, they may proceed with a few different methods, such as chiropractic adjustments, Myofascial release, Dry needling, which all work to relax muscles and soft tissue, in order to optimise the function of your neck and jaw. Your Chiropractor might also advise you of certain postural changes to make, especially in the upper neck, which could contribute to your TMD.
What does the research say?
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of conservative treatment such as chiropractic treatment and manual therapy on jaw pain.
One really good randomised control trial (high quality evidence) from 2012 “Manual Therapy & Home Physical Therapy in patients with temporo-mandibular disorders” takes a good look at how manual therapy & at home physical therapy compares with at home physical therapy alone. below are some of its key findings:
Pain (VAS) at rest and under stress significantly decreased for both groups!
So, if you have any questions, are experiencing jaw pain, or are looking to see how Chiropractic may help you call 0476 252 599 or book in online below!