Fort Collins CO CHIROPRACTOR MAY HELP TMJ
Among the areas of the body that Fort Collins CO chiropractors are able to help, many people are surprised to learn that the jaw is on the list. It's easy to associate back pain and neck pain with chiropractic treatment, but people who suffer from TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder in Fort Collins CO can also find relief.
WHAT IS TMJ?
It seems like we all know someone who suffers with TMJ pain and dysfunction in Fort Collins CO, maybe it’s even you. The temporomandibular joint, also known as the TMJ, is the joint that allows the jaw to move when opening and closing the mouth. Specifically, they are the joints between the temporal bone (skull) and the mandible (jaw). The two joints are located on the left and right edges of the face, immediately in front of each ear. When they become injured and/or misaligned, these joints can become chronic sources of pain, popping, grinding and clicking. TMJ pain can truly affect a person’s life – tremendously! These two joints are necessary for all opening and closing motions of the mouth including speaking and eating. Pain levels can become quite severe if the problem is not corrected. There are several reasons why the temporomandibular joint can become inflamed. The two most common are:
- Traumatic forces applied to the joints. This includes sports collisions, sleeping on your sides often, falls, punches and any other direct force. A full speed collision while playing softball, for example, can really devastate such a small joint.
- Spinal misalignment within the neck causing altered nerve supply to the joints. There is an intimate neurological connection between the upper spine and the TMJ. When nerve function is altered within the upper neck due to simple spinal misalignments known as subluxations, the temporomandibular joint can often be negatively affected, causing jaw pain. The subluxation is almost always within the upper three most vertebra of the neck.
Some common symptoms of TMJ include pain in your jaw, cheek, teeth, or front of the ear when you chew or yawn, clicking noises in the jaw, an inability to open your mouth wide, or having your jaw lock when you are able to open it. You also may notice that your upper and lower teeth no longer fit together properly when you close your mouth. Some patients experience headaches, hearing issues, dizziness, or earaches as part of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
CAUSES OF TMJ
TMJ has a myriad of potential causes that your Fort Collins CO chiropractors will explore when you book your appointment. Some of the known causes of TMJ include serious jaw trauma or dislocation, physical or emotional stress, or even sitting in a dentist's chair for long periods of time with your mouth wide open. The emotional stress doesn't end up causing TMJ on its own, but if you tend to clench your teeth as a result, this may end up causing it. Statistics show that women are four times as likely to suffer from TMJ as men.
CAN A Fort Collins CO CHIROPRACTIC HELP TMJ?
Once your chiropractor confirms that you do have TMJ, you'll be given a treatment plan based on the specifics of your situation. Our team at Brave Roots Chiropractic wants to get to the cause of your problem so every angle is explored before a thorough plan is created. Usually, a treatment plan for TMJ will include chiropractic adjustments, special exercises, and possibly heat or ice to lessen pain if it is particularly painful.
If you have any of the symptoms of TMJ, schedule a consultation with a chiropractor as soon as possible. It's also important that you follow any advice or recommendations given during that consultation and subsequent appointments. Every exercise and treatment is designed to remove the underlying cause of the problem and restore your jaw function back to normal.
At Brave Roots Chiropractic our team is here to help answer your questions. Please feel free to contact us today.
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