Our bodies are made up of intricate systems functioning together in harmony, and when one part is compromised, it can affect the entire body. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is no exception. The TMJ is a complex joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull, and when it’s out of balance, the entire body can suffer. TMJ pain arises when the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments around your jaw are out of balance or not in sync. This pain can range from mild discomfort to severe chronic pain if left untreated.
TMJ affects more than 10 million people in the United States alone and can affect anyone at any age. It is more common among women than men and can become more common with age. This is due to the gradual wear and tear that occurs with age and other factors related to lifestyle habits.
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- 1-on-1 Consultation
- Neurological Exam
- Comprehensive Movement Analysis
- Computerized Postural Assessment
- Digital X-rays (if necessary)
- AND Detailed Doctor’s Report of Findings
The jaw comprises two joints, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the mandibular joint (MJ). The TMJ is responsible for the movement of the jaw, while the MJ assists with proper jaw alignment and stability. When both joints are working in harmony, the jaw will function correctly. When one of these joints becomes irritated due to an injury, poor posture, or other causes, it can cause the jaw to become misaligned and lead to temporomandibular joint pain.
The surrounding facial muscles become tense and painful as the muscles work harder to stabilize the misaligned jaw. This pain leads to further complications such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and even earaches.
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How We Treat TMJ Pain in Boulder, CO
We take a comprehensive approach to treating a TMJ Dysfunction, utilizing different steps and techniques to address your injury as it is unique to you and your total health.
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
Our expert practitioners will discuss your symptoms in detail during your consultation and observe how you move your jaw and neck. During the consultation, our practitioners will also assess your posture, bite, and range of motion. This is to determine the cause of your temporomandibular joint pain and develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
If necessary, we may also take X-rays. X-rays give us an accurate picture of the structures inside your jaw and help us determine the best treatment for you.
Specific Chiropractic Care In Boulder, CO
Our chiropractors will use various techniques to help realign the jaw and reduce tension. These may include adjusting the jaw joint, applying pressure to trigger points, stretching, and mobilizing the surrounding muscles.
If they choose to adjust the joint, they will use a light force to move it into its correct position gently without cracking or popping the jaw. The method used will depend on the severity of your condition and what is causing it. Our chiropractors will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that will help you reduce your pain and improve your jaw function.
They may then recommend exercises or stretches to help keep the jaw in its correct position. Stretching and mobilizing the muscles around the jaw is also important for restoring the jaw’s normal range of motion. This can help to reduce tension and pain, as well as improve overall function.
Trigger point relief soft tissue work can help reduce muscle tension and relieve pain. Our chiropractors will use their hands to apply pressure to these knots, which will help release the built-up tension and reduce inflammation.
Nutrition & Supplementation
A lack of certain nutrients in the diet, such as calcium and magnesium, can cause TMJ. We will work with you to create a customized nutrition plan to help ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs. This can help to reduce inflammation, improve joint health, and reduce pain.
We may also recommend certain supplements to help improve joint health. These can include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which are known to be beneficial for joint health. Combined with an anti-inflammatory diet and foods that won’t aggravate jaw pain, these supplements can help to reduce pain and improve function.
Our massage therapists will use various techniques to relieve tension and reduce pain. This may include deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release. Massage can help to relax the muscles around the jaw and help to reduce stress in the body, which can contribute to temporomandibular joint pain. Massage can help reduce pain and improve joint mobility.
Deep Tissue Laser
Deep tissue laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the jaw. It targets specific areas of the jaw with a low-level laser to reduce tension and inflammation. Laser therapy can also help improve the range of motion in the jaw, reducing pain and improving function.
During the procedure, our practitioners will apply the laser to specific jaw areas for 10-15 minutes. The laser helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain and stiffness in the jaw.
Laser penetrates the cellular level, stimulating the mitochondria to accelerate healing. The benefits of laser therapy can be almost immediately, and it can provide long-term relief from TMJ pain.
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Common Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction in Boulder, CO
TMJ Dysfunction does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they often depend on the location of the pain and how severe the TMJ Dysfunction is. In most cases, the symptoms only happen on one side of the body. The pain tends to worsen over time, and it can get worse.
Your jaw may feel sore and tender, or there may be a sharp pain when you move it. This pain is similar to the pain of an earache. It might be worse on one side or felt on both sides of your jaw.
Muscle tension can lock your jaw in one position and will not move. This symptom is usually accompanied by pain or discomfort. Sometimes, the only way to unlock your jaw is with help from a doctor or physical therapist.
Jaw Popping or Clicking
You may hear or feel a popping or clicking sensation when you open your mouth. This can be caused by the jaw joint becoming misaligned or by a buildup of muscle tension. It can be accompanied by pain or stiffness.
A misalignment of the jaw or tightness in the muscles can make it difficult to open your mouth wide enough to chew food properly. This symptom is usually accompanied by pain or discomfort.
You are often unaware that you are clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. It can be a sign of stress or anxiety and cause pain in the jaw and face. It can also lead to headaches and other TMJ symptoms.
Common Causes of TMJ Pain in Boulder, CO
There are several ways to experience a TMJ pain. Knowing the potential causes may help you to reduce your risk.
When you clench or grind your teeth, your jaw is forced into an unnatural position, causing excess pressure on the temporomandibular joint leading to pain and inflammation. The extra pressure can also cause the jaw to become misaligned, leading to further pain and discomfort.
Arthritis can misalign the jaw, leading to swelling and inflammation. This can also cause additional stress on the temporomandibular joint, leading to more pain. In some cases, the joint can become so damaged that it needs to be replaced.
The neck muscles connect to the jaw muscles. When one is tense, the other will become tense. That means poor posture that triggers neck and shoulder tension can lead to jaw tension and pain.
When we are stressed, it can cause us to clench and grind our teeth, leading to temporomandibular joint pain. It can also cause us to tense our muscles, leading to jaw tension and discomfort. The constant stress can also lead to headaches and neck pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can chiropractic care help with TMJ?
Yes, chiropractic care can help to reduce pain and improve function in the jaw. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat various conditions, including temporomandibular joint pain. They can use multiple techniques, such as spinal manipulation, to reduce tension in the jaw and improve the range of motion. They can also recommend lifestyle changes and exercises to help with temporomandibular joint pain.
How do you permanently TMJ?
TMJ is a complex condition, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments, such as chiropractic care, massage, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.
What causes TMJ to flare up?
TMJ can result from various factors, such as grinding your teeth, jaw misalignment, stress or anxiety, and arthritis. It can also be triggered by a traumatic event such as whiplash, an injury to the face, and even certain medications or medical conditions. If you do not treat the underlying cause, your symptoms may continue to flare up.
What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
If temporomandibular joint pain is left untreated, it can lead to long-term problems such as chronic pain, difficulty eating and speaking, and jaw deformities. It can also lead to other health problems, such as headaches, earaches, and neck pain.
Can chiropractors crack jaws?
Chiropractors can safely manipulate the temporomandibular joint to improve range of motion and decrease pain.
Can TMJ cause neurological problems?
In rare cases, temporomandibular joint pain can cause neurological problems such as facial numbness, facial paralysis, and difficulty swallowing. These only occur when temporomandibular joint pain causes severe damage to the facial nerves. They may also occur if temporomandibular joint pain is left untreated for an extended period.
$49 New Patient Special
– 1-on-1 Consultation –
– Neurological Exam –
– Comprehensive Movement Analysis –
– Computerized Postural Assessment –
– Digital X-rays (if necessary) –
– AND Detailed Doctor’s Report of Findings –