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  • Writer's pictureDr. Matt Murrin

Can a Chiropractor Help With TMJ?

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Woman in Pain with TMJ

Discover how chiropractic care can provide relief for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain and dysfunction.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can cause significant discomfort and impact daily activities. While it is commonly associated with dentistry and orthodontics, chiropractic care can also provide relief and improve jaw mobility for those suffering from TMJ. Chiropractors focus on aligning the musculoskeletal system, including the jaw, to promote optimal function and alleviate pain.

What Will a Chiropractor Do for TMJ?

If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms, seeking the help of a chiropractor can provide numerous benefits. During your initial consultation, the chiropractor will conduct a thorough examination to assess the alignment of your spine, neck, and jaw. This evaluation will help determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to address TMJ, including spinal adjustments, soft tissue manipulation, and therapeutic exercises. By gently realigning the jaw and surrounding muscles, they can alleviate tension and relieve pressure on the joint.

Spinal adjustments are a key component of chiropractic care for TMJ. The chiropractor will use controlled, precise movements to realign the vertebrae in your spine. This can help improve the overall alignment of your body, including your jaw. By ensuring that your spine is in proper alignment, the chiropractor can help reduce stress on the jaw joint and alleviate TMJ symptoms.

In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors may also use soft tissue manipulation techniques to address TMJ. This involves applying gentle pressure to the muscles surrounding the jaw joint, helping to release tension and improve flexibility. By targeting specific trigger points, the chiropractor can help relax the muscles and reduce pain and discomfort associated with TMJ.

Therapeutic exercises may also be recommended by the chiropractor to help strengthen the muscles around the jaw joint. These exercises can help relieve jaw pain and improve stability and mobility, while reducing the likelihood of TMJ flare-ups. The chiropractor will provide guidance on how to perform these exercises correctly and may recommend a specific routine tailored to your individual needs.

Furthermore, chiropractors may offer lifestyle advice to complement the treatment of TMJ. They may suggest modifications to your diet, such as avoiding hard or chewy foods that can aggravate TMJ symptoms. They may also provide guidance on stress management techniques, as stress can contribute to jaw clenching and TMJ discomfort.

How Do I Realign My TMJ Jaw?

Dealing with TMJ jaw misalignment can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. While it is important to consult a chiropractor for professional guidance, there are some self-care techniques you can try to help realign your TMJ jaw:

  • Apply a warm compress to the jaw area. This simple yet effective method can help relax the muscles and improve blood circulation, promoting healing. The warmth can also provide soothing relief, easing any discomfort you may be experiencing.

  • Practice gentle jaw exercises, such as opening and closing the mouth slowly or moving the jaw from side to side. These exercises can help relieve tension and improve jaw mobility. By engaging in these exercises regularly, you can gradually strengthen the muscles surrounding your TMJ joint, which may contribute to better alignment over time.

  • Avoid excessive chewing or biting on hard foods, as this can exacerbate TMJ pain & symptoms. Opt for softer foods that require less effort to chew, such as cooked vegetables, yogurt, or smoothies. Taking a break from chewing hard can help ease strain on your jaw joint and possibly help it realign.

  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to reduce stress and muscle tension in the jaw area. Stress can often contribute to TMJ symptoms, so finding healthy ways to manage and alleviate stress can be beneficial. Spend time daily on your breath and let go of any jaw tension.

It is important to note that while these self-care techniques may provide temporary relief, they may not address the underlying cause of your TMJ misalignment. Therefore, it is crucial to seek professional guidance from a chiropractor who specializes in TMJ treatment. They can assess your specific condition and provide personalized recommendations to help realign your TMJ jaw effectively.

Should I Go to a Chiropractor for TMJ?

If you are experiencing persistent TMJ symptoms, consulting a chiropractor can be a beneficial step towards finding relief. Chiropractors specialize in addressing issues related to the musculoskeletal system, including the jaw joint. Their expertise in spinal alignment and soft tissue manipulation can help improve jaw function and reduce discomfort.

It is important to note that chiropractic care should be used in conjunction with other medical treatments, such as dental evaluations or orthodontic interventions, if necessary. A collaborative approach can provide the most comprehensive and effective care for TMJ.

What Happens if TMJ is Left Untreated?

If left untreated, TMJ can lead to several complications and worsen over time. Some potential consequences of untreated TMJ include:

  • Increased pain and discomfort

  • Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth fully

  • Chronic headaches or migraines

  • Earaches or tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

  • Problems with speaking or chewing

  • Changes in tooth alignment

By seeking timely treatment, such as chiropractic care, you can address these issues and prevent further deterioration of the temporomandibular joint.

How Chiropractic Adjustments Can Improve Jaw Mobility

Chiropractic adjustments are a non-invasive and drug-free approach that can significantly improve jaw mobility in individuals with TMJ. The chiropractor will use gentle manipulation techniques to realign the jaw and surrounding structures, relieving tension and reducing inflammation.

Through the realignment process, chiropractic adjustments can restore proper jaw function and alleviate pain caused by TMJ. This improvement in mobility allows individuals to resume their normal activities and enjoy a higher quality of life.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments for TMJ, your chiropractor may also recommend complementary therapies, such as massage therapy or physical therapy exercises, to further enhance jaw mobility and promote healing.

Chiropractic USA can be your partner in the effective treatment of TMJ. Our chiropractors help with jaw alignment and function, providing pain relief, improved mobility, and overall well-being.

If you have TMJ symptoms, contact Chiropractic USA in Mount Pleasant, SC for a consultation and start finding the relief you need. Contact us now!

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