TMJ-What it is, What it isn't, Self Care
Have you been experiencing frequent headaches, back and neck pain, dull aching facial pain, or popping in your jaw? You are not alone, many of my clients walk through the door experiencing the very same. Many of these symptoms may be related to a Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). These disorders involve the jaw muscles and/or the jaw joint known as the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).
The TMJ is the hinge that connects your jaw to the bones on the side of your skull, which are in front of each ear. Below are a few causes of trauma to the TMJ:
* Direct trauma
* Indirect trauma – whiplash, neck injury
* Stress and emotional strain
* Poor posture
* Clenching/grinding of teeth
* Myofascial restrictions throughout the body
* Rotation in the pelvis
* Tooth loss or misalignment of the teeth
* Chewing gum or biting nails
Taking a global approach to the tension often found within the joint can help relieve symptoms and alleviate causes that are not related to TMD. Within the clinic, I approach the jaw joint pain with a combination of myofascial release (MFR), triggerpoint therapy (TrP), and craniosacral (CST). Releasing the triggerpoints and elongating the connective tissue allow for improved symptoms and giving your body the ability to heal itself.
There is not a single cause for TMD symptoms. Clicking or popping noises, locking or grating sensations, pain or stiffness in and around the jaw and TMJ can all be symptoms of TMD. Many also experience headaches, neck pain, or earaches.
Other known causes of jaw or facial pain include conditions, such as:
TMD, like many other symptomatic complexes, can often have several different factors that contribute to its development. If you suffer from jaw, head or neck problems and would like to learn ways to help release tension, check out our new Client Resources page. I have uploaded a pdf with techniques to help you manage symptoms at home.
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A little from Dr. Dan, a little from Lisa but always a lot of good stuff!