Harper Kinetics can devise a treatment plan to alleviate your pain due to TMJ dysfunction.
The jaw (temporo-mandibular-joint) is a hinge joint that connects the mandible bone (jaw) to the skull and is held in place by articular ligaments around the joint, the muscles of mastication, the head and neck muscles, and connective tissue. Collectively, these structures allow you to chew, yawn, speak, and swallow, and are in constant use throughout the day. This joint is one of the most frequently used in the body. You can locate it by gently placing your fingers beside your ears, on your face, while opening and closing your mouth. There is an articular disk within the joint that separates the condyle head of the mandible and the skull. This disk can become a problem for a variety of reasons. Most commonly this can be caused by muscle imbalance, anterior head carriage, overuse due to clenching, chewing gum, mal-union of the upper & lower teeth to name a few. In any case, this can cause Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction.
Common symptoms include limited range of motion in the joint itself, or “clicking/popping” when opening and closing your mouth. The clicking noise will occur when the condyle head is not in the proper fitted position and passes over the ridge of the disk. As the bone passes over the ridge it will cause a click or pop that can lock the jaw in either the open or closed position and can even require a manual adjustment to dislodge it back into normal working order.
TMJ disorders have various causes. Misaligned or missing teeth can force the bone out of its proper position. Trauma from a fall or car crash can cause similar symptoms. Whiplash is a very common cause of TMJ. Many times stress results in a grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. This can over strain the muscles and cause serious pain. That pain can flow throughout your face, neck, and head causing various symptoms and discomfort. TMJ dysfunction may appear as various symptoms (headaches and earaches) that wouldn’t normally be considered in conjunction with it.
If you have TMJ dysfunction, every time you open and close your mouth you put wear on the tissues of the joint. This can cause severe problems if not treated properly, so it is recommended that you seek a practitioner with knowledge and expertise in working with TMJ dysfunction to discuss your treatment options. Most people including your dentist, are unaware of the fact that your Registered Massage Therapist may be trained to work intra-orally to alleviate symptoms, pain, and dysfunction through direct muscle treatments.
Massage Therapy can help to balance the muscles of mastication, decrease headache symptoms, and improve your head and neck posture to allow the joint to re-position & heal correctly.
Your Harper Kinetics team can work collaboratively to alleviate your pain due to TMJ dysfunction. Call today for your free initial consultation to determine if Massage Therapy or Chiropractic Care are suitable options for you.