Before we discuss conservative TMJ Treatments we will go over the anatomy of the joint. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. The TMJ is responsible for opening and closing of the mouth. Proper opening mechanics involves both mandible depression and chin retrusion. Alternatively mouth closing includes mandible elevation and chin protrusion. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the joint itself, the muscles of mastication, neck pain, mid back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, or all of the above. This array of locations associated with TMJ pain makes the exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder difficult to determine without a full functional approach. It has been shown that in most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders, when not associated with a injury to the jaw, can be alleviated with nonsurgical conservative care.
What Are Symptoms of TMJ Pain?
Popping and clicking
Reduced range of motion when opening and closing your mouth
Grinding of teeth
Looking for conservative TMJ treatments?
Conservative TMJ treatments are always recommended prior to more invasive techniques due to the fact that TMJ pain and discomfort when it is not related to direct trauma to the jaw can be relieved with non-invasive treatment. Since it is a joint, with tissue and muscle, like any other in the body, the treatments are similar to how you would treat any other inflamed joint or muscle. For example the TMJ relax position, shown below, can be a great self care exercise to reduce the tension and tone in the jaw muscles compounding the TMJ joint.
TMJ treatments at Behm Muscle & Joint Clinic
At Behm Muscle & Joint Clinic we strive to assess and treat the body as a whole. Instead of focusing on the site of pain we look at the body dynamically using movement based tests to breakout areas of dysfunction which may be leading to your TMJ pain. Our TMJ treatments begin with an assessment. The assessement will include trigger point assessment to the muscles head, neck, and jaw. Assessment for joint restriction, range of motion tests, orthopedic evaluation and movement screens. Our treatment may consist of Chiropractic adjustments to the neck and mid back, Myofascial release (Active Release Techniques, Dry Needling, stretching) and rehabilitation exercises to address muscle imbalances. We strive to provide the most up to date and evidenced based forms of care emphasizing an active care model where the patient becomes an active role in their treatment. New patients are always welcome at Behm Muscle & Joint Clinic, to schedule a consultation call us at 402-292-1450, or schedule online.