Temporomandibular disorders, also called TMJ, affect the joint where your skull meets your lower jaw. Common symptoms include jaw clicking, pain, stiffness or a locked jaw. These symptoms are a result of the joint being misaligned and/or muscle adhesions in the jaw muscles which can occur from grinding or clenching your teeth, poor posture or an injury.
This occurs when the muscles tighten and the skull and lower jaw are pulled closer together and become misaligned. This puts pressure on the joint and compresses the disc.
When the ligaments stretch or tear it can pull the disc out of position. This is common in injuries such as whiplash.
Degeneration of the joint occurs when the disc wears away, leaving the bones rubbing against and irritating the nerves.
Chiropractors look beyond just your jaw, but at your overall lifestyle. A total approach to wellness helps determine the best course of action for your problem.
Adjustments may be used in your treatment of TMJ depending on the cause of your jaw disorder. During an adjustment, the chiropractor may press on your jaw, skull or upper spine to relieve irritated nerves and increase your jaw's range of motion.
Soft tissue based therapies including Active Release Technique may be incorporated into your treatment. This is a patented tissue based therapy that breaks up adhesions and scar tissue on the surrounding muscle and ligaments. This is proven to be a very effective method when combined with regular chiropractic treatments or as a stand alone treatment.