Effectively Addressing TMJ Pain | Chiropractor for TMJ in West Omaha, NE
Hi, I’m Dr. Joel Marley, and I am the clinic director at Family First Chiropractic and I’m here to talk about TMJ, or TMJD or TMD. And what that is is Temporomandibular, joint disorder, dysfunction, pain in your TMJ jaw joint.
So if you’re struggling with pain in your jaw, pain around your ear, pain across your face, clicking, grinding popping, can’t fully open. can’t fully close. Chewing of food causes pain in your jaw. This video is for you. So I want to illustrate how at family first character did we get to the root cause of TMJ joint pain?
So there’s an estimated 15 million sufferers with this debilitating pain in the face. The jaw is so intricate this gangrenous hinge diathermy joint is so densely populated with neurons that the swelling fixation, the crappiest the grinding can cause some of the most excruciating pain on the planet. I’ll never forget my first case of this when I opened Family First Chiropractic. A childhood friend of mine brought in his wife and she had been struggling with TMJ joint pain. And it got to the point where it was causing her headaches as well. It was causing pain in her jaw, it was also causing a locking of her jaw. And she went everywhere. She spent hundreds of hundreds of dollars at dental offices to look at teeth and to shave down teeth and an oral appliance so she didn’t grind, a bruxism device, so she didn’t grind at night. And she shows up in my office from a trusted childhood friend of mine. And after we found the cause, and she had phenomenal successes with her adjustments, her lifestyle modifications, that she later told me that this pain was so debilitating, that she was becoming depressed before we found the cause.
Your TMJ History
So I want to illustrate how we determine and examine the spine, the patient, the sufferer? First we’ll start with a history we want to know have you had a recent trauma to your jaw? Was there a car accident a flexion extension like a whiplash that occurred has there been a history of extensive dental work or dental procedures where you may be forced open while under a Novocaine or a relaxer of the muscles to even force it open further. Has there been stress a significant amount of stress in your life causing a clenching or grinding to your jaw. Now observation is Next. We want to know what is happening inside your spine, but also your jaw joint. We start with the cervical spine because we know that your cervical spine and your jaw are very intricately connected.
Possible TMJ Causes
First is posture. So if the head is deviated from center, as this X ray shows behind me deviated off of center that changes the mechanics of the jaw from the side if your posture is poor, and your head is forward in front of your body. The weight of this as your head moves forward away from the body. It changes the angulation of how you open and close. try this at home. Move your head forward, open your jaw, move your head back into good posture, open your jaw, it will be different. That’s an indicator of the cause of TMJ. My job as a chiropractor is to determine is what you’re experiencing in your jaw coming from indeed the structural misalignment of your jaw causing neurological pressure and interference to the very sensitive nerves or is it coming from your cervical spine your neck which feeds the jaw with nerve supply? So palpation is there clicking, grinding, popping? Is there fixation in the cervical spine? Is there as we examine your opening so with observation as you open and you can try this at home in front of a mirror. Show your teeth and open slow your jaw should swing open and closed. Do you deviations to one side as it opens or closes, is an indicator of TMJ joint dysfunction. Furthermore, where is the pain? I want to know from you exactly where the pain is located, observation. And subjective findings are very important to finding the cause.
So with the pain in front of your ears, does the pain hurt? Does your jaw hurt when you open does jaw hurt if you close Does it hurt if you bite, so how we correct it? Now, if there is a deviation in your posture, if there is a deviation in how you open how you close, we may take an x ray to see exactly what’s going on inside your jaw, or your cervical spine or both. This x ray here behind me, you’ll notice the jaw is not centered over the spine, the jaw is deviated. And what we find in our office is the jaw will deviate opposite to the side of the problem. Here’s how we correct it. If the problem is coming from the cervical spine, and I’m going to say over the years, I have found that the problem located in the cervical spine, but the symptoms were happening in the jaw. Now, I’ve also seen that it’s both there’s a neurological component to the jaw being misaligned and the cervical spine being misaligned.
Adjusting the Jaw and Cervical Spine
But there’s also a mechanical component. Is the jaw misaligned creating abnormal stress on one side or the other? And is there abnormal stress happening inside the spine that’s creating an abnormal opening pattern because of forward head posture, or head tilt or cervical shift. Here’s how it’s corrected. If it’s a jaw adjustment, we use a condyle block to support the cervical spine. We stand behind the patient. And we take the jaw if you can imagine the jaw opening and closing. And what we do is we guide it back into the joint. So then swelling, the fixation on the opposite side decreases thus, pain and symptoms. Furthermore, interruption to cervical spine is directed with a adjustment typically we see Atlas rotation so C-1, Atlas rotation is the key indicator that we find with jaw pain. So rotation of the Atlas would be corrected with an adjustment in the chair by moving Atlas either to the right to the left, and then the rotational component has the right side move forward has the right side rotated backwards. Same thing on the opposite side. So cervical chair adjustment in the Gonstead chiropractic system is contacting the transverse process being the head towards the fixed joint fixation and then delivering a gentle force to move the bone back towards a healthier position so the body works better. This is how at Family First Chiropractic we get to the root cause of TMJ pain.