Last Updated on October 29, 2021
TMJ can be an incredibly painful condition that you can alleviate with chiropractic care. Chiropractors are amazing at relieving pain while promoting healing in your soft tissue. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can greatly affect your life. Most patients seek to heal over time by using jaw exercises and wearing mouth guards, ice and heat treatments, and seeking help from acupuncture professionals. This guide will illustrate how seeing a chiropractor can be one of the best things you can do to relieve pain and heal your jaw.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is an acronym for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. The medical term refers to the chronic inflammation that occurs in the joint that connects the mandible (lower jawbone) to the rest of the skull. However, the term TMJ is often used to describe many conditions that cause pain in the muscles and joints in the mandible.
You have two temporomandibular joints on either side of your head that connect the mandible to the skull’s temporal bones—the joint acts as a sort of hinge controlled by the muscles in your jaw. If you feel the area below your temple while opening your mouth, you can feel the mandible opening and closing function.
The mandible has rounded ends that normally glide smoothly in the joint socket. However, those with TMJ will experience a disruption in this process with popping noises and pain. TMJ is a relatively common injury in those that have encountered head and jaw trauma, chronic teeth grinding or jaw clenching when asleep, and diseases that affect the joints like arthritis.
Even though TMJ affects an estimated 35 million people in the U.S. alone, most don’t know that a chiropractor will help greatly with pain and healing. They can help patients alleviate symptoms like headaches, jaw stiffness, jaw pain, popping in the jaw, and even tinnitus or sensitive teeth.
Looking for the best chiropractic care in Portland? Inner Gate Acupuncture has a seasoned and extremely qualified staff that has helped us become the best chiropractic service in the area, according to Portland Monthly, Angie’s List, Yelp, and more.
What are The Main Symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ includes a variety of painful symptoms like the below:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Jaw muscle spasms
- Teeth grinding
- Many types of jaw pain
- Ear pain and tinnitus
- Sore jaw muscles
- Numbness in hands and arms
- Tenderness in your jaw and teeth
- Trouble opening and closing your mouth
- Popping and clicking during normal jaw function
All these symptoms can be extremely stressful. Pain from these symptoms can be incredibly distracting and can take from your ability to function at home or at work.
How Can A Chiropractor Help With TMJ?
Seeing a quality chiropractor in your area is one of the best things you can do for TMJ. At Inner Gate Acupuncture in the Portland, OR area, we specialize in TMJ by focusing on three critical muscles in your jaw. The masseter, the temporalis, and the pterygoid. We carefully assess the problem in the jaw joint itself, and we will use chiropractic techniques to remove pressure from your back’s uppermost vertebrae all the way to the Temporomandibular Joint. Once you are aligned properly, and we have assessed your unique issue regarding TMJ, we will delicately begin to treat you with joint manipulations.
The masseter is one of the main muscles in your jaw that you can feel when opening your mouth. The muscle is prominent in the “movie star” jawline. The temporalis muscle is a smaller muscle used for chewing and other tasks that stretches all the way to the temple.
Those experiencing the conditions of TMJ can even do at-home exercises that help with their pain. Putting pressure on the masseter muscle with your fingers as you open and close your jaw is a good exercise for this. Do this starting from the bottom of the muscle and work your way up. It is good to do it three times throughout the day. Be careful not to overdo anything, and don’t press too hard to risk more pain.
Exercises with the pterygoid are much harder to DIY, so a chiropractor will help immensely. Working on this muscle can be very painful, so it is best to have a medical professional help you with therapeutic exercises.
Besides soft tissue and muscle work, chiropractors will adjust your jaw joints for incredible relief. They will adjust joints on both sides of your mouth. These adjustments can realign your jaw, making everything feel much better. We will work on the side of your jaw that is experiencing the most restriction in movement first with light pushing movements. We will assess your unique needs after this and will often prescribe acupuncture to stimulate the nerves and soft tissue to help the healing process.
In short, seeing a chiropractor will help with nearly any instance of TMJ. In most instances, it will alleviate your pain from injury or habits like clenching or grinding your jaw during sleep.
Looking for the best chiropractor in Portland, OR? Inner Gate Acupuncture has you covered. Our chiropractic staff is incredibly experienced in providing joint and muscle relief for nearly any condition.
Inner Gate Acupuncture Can Help You
Inner Gate Acupuncture is here to help patients in the Portland area live a pain-free life. We will carefully listen to all your TMJ-related pain points and do everything to get you back to feeling your best. We seek to provide the highest levels of chiropractic care, therapy, and friendly service so patients can feel completely comfortable and at home at Inner Gate. We have two locations in Portland to provide convenient service for our patients. Yelp, Angie’s List, and the Portland Business Journal ranked us as the top chiropractic service in Portland because we care the most for our patients. Come in today for your TMJ consultation!