Most people with ongoing jaw pain will often refer to it as having “TMJ”. Technically this is not wrong, there are two temporomandibular joints on either side of the jaw; and when there is dysfunction in one or both of those joints we refer to it as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD).
Signs and symptoms of jaw pain can include:
•Pain or tenderness on one or both sides of the jaw
•Aching pain in and around ears
• Difficulty or pain with chewing
• Locking of the joint — difficulty opening or closing your mouth
• Clicking or popping when opening or closing your mouth
• Headaches and/or migraines
• Neck Pain
Causes of Jaw Pain
• Clenching and/or grinding due to habit or stress
• A structural change in the TMJ
• Overuse in certain professions (teachers, singers, etc.)
• Motor Vehicle Accident
• Recent dental surgery
How can a massage therapist help with your jaw pain?
Treating the muscles that surround the jaw, neck and face is the first approach to treatment of TMJD. Using tools such as graston to break down adhesions within the surrounding muscles will allow for increased blood flow and aide in getting the muscles to relax. Allowing the muscle to relax will reduce referred pain; and adhering to a treatment plan will allow for minimized joint clicking, reduce headaches, and decreased pain within the joint area.
How can a chiropractor help with your jaw pain?
After an initial assessment, the appropriate treatment will be determined and may include a combination of therapies for the best outcome.Treatment can include chiropractic mobilizations, myofascial release of the muscles surrounding the jaw, physiotherapy exercises to both stretch and strengthen the jaw. We also may co-manage with your dentist and request a night splint if there are other problems such as grinding or clenching throughout the day or at night.
How can an Acupuncturist help with your jaw pain?
Acupuncture can assist with TMJD by relieving muscle spasms, decreasing swelling within the join and reducing overall pain. Understanding the source of the problem is key to preventing recurrence; and often there is a behavioural or psychological shift that may need to occur for stress and tension to be lifted — which can be addressed through a variety of acupuncture points to aide in reduction of overall tension and pain.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, especially headaches, the jaw might be the cause.
Visit us online or give us a call at 780–761–8821 to schedule your spotlight or overhaul session with one of our therapists.