When it comes to TMJ treatment, it is better to go with non-invasive or conservative treatment as much as possible. Surgical options, which tend to be more invasive, should only be considered as a last resort. Chiropractic techniques have been found to work very well in relieving problems with body joints. With a good chiropractor, you can find effective TMJ pain treatment as he or she realigns your jaw joint. This treatment can be used by itself or alongside other treatment that you may be receiving.
It has been found that chiropractic treatment relaxes the muscles that surround the joint and also adjusts the joint. This can alleviate pain temporarily and in some cases even permanently. The idea is to relieve the joint of tension, leaving it relaxed and re-aligned.
Interestingly, if you have poor posture or are suffering from a back problem, you may find yourself suffering from TMJ syndrome as well. The condition can be caused by a misaligned upper back or neck and as the chiropractor works on aligning the spine, you may find your TMJ gone as well. You will find that the symptoms that accompany TMJ, the ear pain, neck pain, headaches and jaw locking, disappear with chiropractic treatment.
Why Should Chiropractic Treatment Be Part Of Your TMJ Treatment Options?
Studies have shown that chiropractic treatment can indeed improve TMJ disease. A study carried out in 2003 with 15 participants resulted in improved pain relief and the participants could open their jaws wider. This shows that there is promise in this area of treatment.
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This treatment can be used by itself or with other treatment options. Medicine can also be prescribed as needed. Some of the medications used are anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, corticosteroid injections and muscle relaxants. One may also need to use a cold or hot compress which does a good job in reducing inflammation. For those who clench and grind their teeth at night, a mouth guard is also recommended to prevent that.
Other options for TMJ disorder treatment include a bite plate that is used to correct any misalignment, relaxation techniques, modified chewing habits, stress reduction and jaw stretching exercises. All of these have been shown to be effective approaches to the treatment of TMJ. Combining these with chiropractic treatment can help.
How Can You Take Care Of Yourself
As the sufferer, there are certain things that you can do to help you feel better when you are experiencing TMJ symptoms and treatment. Here are a few suggestions:
- Go on a soft diet as this will give your jaw temporary rest. Avoid foods that may be chewy, crunchy or hard and do not open your mouth wide to accommodate whole fruits, apples and corn on the cob.
- When you yawn, be sure to offer your jaw support by placing your fist on your chin to ensure that your jaw does not lock open.
- Use a hot water bottle or heat pack to provide moist heat which goes a long way to reduce pain and improve jaw function.
- Consciously relax the muscles in your face. Relax the lips and be sure to keep your teeth apart.
- Do some slow and gentle exercises for your jaw to increase mobility.
- When you go to bed at night, lie on your side and support yourself with a pillow between the neck and shoulder.
- Use an ice pack to reduce inflammation, promote healing and numb pain.
- Use relaxation techniques to your advantage such as slow, deep breathing, mediation, massage or yoga to help deal with pain.
It is also important that you avoid the following things:
- Chewing gum
- Clenching your jaw
- Cradling the phone with your neck
- Dental appointments that will require you to keep your mouth open for over 30 minutes
- Anesthesia, as it can affect your ability to open your mouth and may even damage the joint
If you have been suffering from TMJ disease, it is important that you have the problem dealt with as soon as possible. The earlier the better because you can use minimally invasive treatments to provide the relief you need. Contact us for more information on TMJ and the treatment options available for you including chiropractic therapy.