If you need a TMJ chiropractor in Calgary, AB, you’ve come to the right place. But how can Align Health & Wellness help ease your TMJ pain? We’re going to take a closer look at TMJ disorders to identify the connection between the neck and dysfunction of the jaw. Then we will address the benefits that you can receive from NUCCA care.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
When you are suffering from a TMJ problem, varying symptoms can result depending on the underlying cause of the issue. Here are some of the most common TMJ disorder symptoms. Considering this list will help you to understand why we look at the neck to help you find a solution for jaw pain.
- TMJ pain – This is the symptom that most people identify with TMJ problems. The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, attaches to the skull on both sides near the ears and neck. Pain or tenderness may occur acutely or chronically in this area.
- Pain that radiates toward the ears or neck – The pain is rarely isolated to the jaw. The pain may radiate toward the ears or neck, providing us with yet another clue that the neck is involved in TMJ problems.
- Trigeminal neuralgia – The trigeminal nerve is located near the jaw joint and this nerve branches into three parts to provide feeling for the face. Depending on the part of the nerve that is irritated, you may experience facial pain in various locations, especially when making certain expressions (like smiling or frowning) or performing certain activities (like brushing your teeth).
- Limited range of motion – The jaw acts as both a hinge and a slide joint. When suffering from a TMJ problem, you may find that this range of motion is limited either by pain or because the joint becomes locked at times.
- Jaw noise – The jaw may also make some unusual noises when you are chewing or moving it in other ways. However, keep in mind that not all jaw noise automatically indicates a chronic problem and that the noise ceasing does not automatically mean that an existing condition has cleared up. What type of sounds may you hear? Most people describe it as a clicking, popping, or grinding sound.
These are just a few of the most common symptoms. You may experience other pains or problems that are not listed here. However, you may wonder if there is anything you can do at home to alleviate your pain. Here are a few suggestions.
Self-Care for TMJ Problems
If you are suffering from the above symptoms, you may want to try some self-care first before seeing a doctor. While this will not resolve any underlying issues, it may help with minor cases of TMJ pain and can provide relief so that you do not require pain medication while waiting to receive care.
- Stretches or massage – Gentle stretches and massage may help a jaw that is simply tired to feel better. It may also provide some limited relief for moderate to severe TMJ pain. Just be careful not to overwork the jaw or pain could increase.
- Eat soft foods – Switching your breakfast from a bagel to scrambled eggs can give the jaw the time it needs to relax and recover from overuse. You may also want to try and avoid other activities that strain the jaw such as yelling or singing.
- Use ice for inflammation – TMJ pain is sometimes accompanied by inflammation, especially if it is caused by an accident or injury. Ice is an effective way to reduce inflammation. While heat may feel good initially, it will send more blood and immune cells to the area, which can actually increase inflammation and lead to more pain.
Those are a couple of simple ways to reduce pain at home. But how can you find long-term relief from chronic jaw pain? Let’s again take a closer look at the connection between the neck and the jaw.
NUCCA Chiropractic for TMJ Problems in Calgary, Alberta
The proximity of the C1 (atlas) vertebra to the jaw and ears cannot be ignored. This is the bone that balances the skull, and it is responsible for about half of the movement of your head. Even the tiniest of misalignments will result in changes that can affect the jaw, ears, facial nerve, and more. The surrounding tissue has to make adjustments in order to keep the head properly balanced. This can affect the TMJ, leading to the symptoms noted above.
As a result, many patients find that once their atlas is back in proper position, other issues in the area begin to heal naturally. For example, you may find that you immediately have fewer problems with your jaw. The benefits, however, are not just those that you get immediately. Once the soft tissue supporting the neck has time to heal, your adjustments will hold even longer. This, in turn, can lead to far-reaching healing effects throughout the body. You may find that you see benefits in everything from overall wellness to how well you sleep.
The next time you need a Calgary chiropractor for TMJ, come and see us at Align Health & Wellness. We use the NUCCA method to ensure that you get a safe and gentle adjustment that is calculated specifically for your misalignment. You may find that you get relief from more than just jaw pain. Call 403-452-4290 to schedule a consultation today, or you can request an appointment online.