Are You Ignoring the Pain Caused by TMJD? It’s Time to Be Pain Free!
A chronic pain disorder of any kind can severely affect your life in many different ways. When it is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint the issues can be particularly pressing. Here at Gold Coast Chiropractic, we see a lot of patients who come to us for help with this so we thought we should tell you a little about what it is.
What are the symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder?
You have two temporomandibular joints, one on either side of your jaw just in front of your ears, and they act as hinges connecting your jawbone to your skull. The temporomandibular joint is a sliding joint designed to move as you eat and as you speak. These are the most active joints in the human body, moving around 2000 times a day and it is only during the last decade that the importance in relation to the cervical spine has been recognized, according to scientists.
When the joints become disordered or dysfunctional this can cause quite debilitating pain in the muscles surrounding the jaw, around the face, shoulders and head, and in the jaw itself.
Symptoms can include:
- Pain when chewing food
- Clicking in the jaw
- Headaches and/or earaches
- Neck pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- The jaw locks and you find it hard to open or close your mouth
- Misalignment or abnormal movement of the jaw
According to the Mayo Clinic, it can be difficult to determine the cause of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) because there could be any number of factors involved and these vary from individual to individual. Here at Gold Coast Chiropractic, we find the problem can be caused by arthritis, injury, clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, or what we see most commonly, an abnormal alignment of the neck affecting how that jaw functions. We take patient care very seriously and our Dr. Paul Fisher has been successfully treating patients with TMJD for a number of years now using the very latest techniques for great results.
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How can chiropractic treatment help TMJD?
According to the National Institute of Health, the symptoms of TMJD can, in some cases, be fairly mild or sporadic, meaning they can appear then go away on their own sometimes.
Treatments in mild cases could involve simply learning relaxation therapies which are sometimes particularly useful for those whose pain is caused by grinding the teeth or clenching the jaw. However, for those whose pain is more severe, or chronic, a course of targeted chiropractic treatment can be more effective. Gold Coast Chiropractic has been helping the people of the city of Chicago to overcome TMJD and go on to lead pain-free lives. Here’s how we do it, firstly by treating the TMJD at source to eliminate the symptoms.
- We can work on helping the neck to regain its natural and correct curve and position. This is because any misalignment of the head and neck affects how the jaw works so Dr. Fisher utilizes all his skill and experience to locate and correct misalignments.
- Once the head and neck are in correct alignment, this will reduce nerve pain and muscle spasm.
- Chiropractic treatment goes on to help with calming down any muscle spasms to promote relaxation and reduce the stresses on the jaw, which cause pain in the head, face, and neck.
- Then we follow up with a program of rehabilitation to ensure the jaw functions exactly how it is supposed to do and to keep it that way.
What all this means is that chiropractic is a treatment which, when administered correctly by a doctor skilled in the art of chiropractic, will not only help with the physical symptoms and pain relief, it can also help this problem from getting worse. Crucially it will also help you to understand the issues that caused your TMJD in the first place and give you the knowledge and the tools to try and prevent it from becoming an issue in the future.
Dr. Fisher may also give you exercises to do at home in order to maximize and build upon the treatment you receive in clinic and help you to strengthen the joints and continue with the relaxation therapy. All of this together can help to make sure that you stay pain-free for as long as possible.
How Gold Coast Chiropractic can help you
There are too many people who go through their lives suffering pain and discomfort – just coping or ‘putting up with’ TMJD. They may decide to make changes like eating soft food most of the time. They probably have a standing order at their local pharmacy for anti-inflammatory painkillers. They may even resort to wearing a mouth-guard. In the worst cases, the nerve pain may be so bad that some consider surgery. In short, they drag themselves through life trying as best they can to just ignore the pain and get through the sleepless nights however they can.
Well, here at Gold Coast Chiropractic we don’t want the residents of Chicago just ‘getting by’ and dosing themselves up on medication. We take the health and care of our patients very seriously and that’s why we offer chiropractic treatment for a number of issues that can blight people’s lives, including TMJD. And we know that the benefits of chiropractic in the treatment of TMJD are many and long-lasting.
The first and most obvious benefit is the relief of pain. When the stresses that cause the jaw to malfunction are taken away the correct motion and functioning of the muscles surrounding the jaw is restored. And the result? No more locking of the jaw and no more pain in the head, face, or neck. Most importantly, you won’t need to rely on that daily dose of painkilling medication or that uncomfortable mouth-guard. Blissful and undisturbed sleep will be restored to you and you can start to enjoy life again.
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- Katelyn H.