What is TMD/TMJ?
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are conditions that affect the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding muscles. TMD and TMJ disorders can cause a range of symptoms, including pain in the jaw, face, neck, and shoulders, difficulty chewing or biting, and a clicking or popping sound when moving the jaw. These disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), jaw injury, and stress. Treatment may vary depending on the underlying cause of the disorder and the severity of the symptoms.
Common Symptoms of TMD/TMJ
Here is a list of common symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders:
- Pain in the jaw, face, neck, and shoulders
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- A clicking or popping sound when moving the jaw
- Limited range of motion in the jaw
- Tenderness or swelling in the jaw
- Headaches or migraines
- Earaches or ringing in the ears
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
- Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)
- Facial swelling
It’s important to note that these symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors, and it’s always a good idea to consult with our chiropractor in about your symptoms.
Chiropractic Treatment for TMD/TMJ in Hiawatha
Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, including temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques, including spinal manipulation and adjustments, to help alleviate pain and improve function in the body.
One of the main ways that chiropractic care can help treat TMD and TMJ disorders is by addressing any misalignments or imbalances in the jaw, neck, and spine. These imbalances can put added strain on the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, leading to pain and discomfort. By correcting these imbalances, chiropractors can help relieve pressure on the jaw and reduce TMD and TMJ symptoms.
Another way that chiropractic care can help treat TMD and TMJ disorders is by reducing muscle tension and improving range of motion in the jaw. Chiropractors may use techniques such as massage, stretches, and exercises to relax and stretch the muscles around the jaw, helping to alleviate pain and improve function.
It’s important to note that TMD and TMJ disorders can be complex conditions, and treatment may vary depending on the underlying cause of the disorder and the severity of the symptoms.
Stretches & Exercises to Help with TMD/TMJ
Here are some stretches and exercises that may help alleviate pain and improve function in individuals with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders:
- Jaw stretches: Gently open your mouth as wide as you can and hold for a few seconds. Repeat several times. You can also try placing a finger on your chin and gently pushing down while resisting with your jaw muscles.
- Neck stretches: Tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. You can also try tilting your head back and looking towards the ceiling, or tilting your head to one side and looking towards your armpit.
- Lip stretch: Puckering your lips as if you’re kissing the air can help stretch the muscles in your jaw and lips. Hold for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat several times.
- Tongue stretch: Stick out your tongue as far as you can and hold for a few seconds. Repeat several times.
- Jaw relaxation: Place a finger on your cheekbone near your ear and gently massage in a circular motion. You can also try placing a warm washcloth over your cheekbones and temples and massaging in a circular motion.
- Jaw strengthening: Place a small object between your teeth and gently bite down, holding for a few seconds. You can also try gently biting down on a washcloth or piece of gauze to help strengthen the muscles in your jaw.
Chiropractor for Jaw Pain in Hiawatha
If you’re experiencing jaw pain, chiropractic care may be able to help. It’s very likely you could be experiencing TMD/TMJ. Our team here at Hiawatha would love to evaluate you and see if we can help. You don’t have to live in pain!
Book your appointment now and start your path to optimal health today!