Don’t Just Grin and Bear It

It’s a curious thing. Throughout my years in the treatment room, I have noticed striking trends with the type of pain and injuries that show up in my clients. Maybe it’s plantar fasciitis, or arthritis, or insomnia… but whatever the dysfunction is, whenever a certain trend becomes apparent, I have learned to stop and pay close attention. It is during these trends that I seize the opportunity to deepen my understanding of each dysfunction’s unique characteristics.

So what’s currently trending at Core Balance + Wellness?

If you guessed Temporomandibular Dysfunction, then you are correct. Brilliant work!

TMJ and TMD

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD, also known as TMJ) occurs as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.

TMJ disorders can be extremely complicated and potentially life altering. The temporomandibular joint is essential for biting, chewing, speaking, swallowing and a variety of facial expressions (see: Smile). When such an essential muscle group creates discomfort, everything in your life can feel painful.

TMJ massage has always been one of my favorite treatments. The complexity of the joint makes treatment a challenging, yet fun, puzzle to solve. Combine that with the chance to bring some MAJOR relief to my clients – a huge reward – and you can easily see why I am passionate about TMJ work.

After a particularly involved TMJ treatment, a client recently told me, “Corey, I haven’t felt this good since… well, since I was a baby.”

With that kind of endorsement for TMJ massage, let’s take a closer look at TMJ disorders and treatment…

Common causes of TMJ disorder include:

  • Direct injury or trauma to the jaw, neck, or head
  • Displacement or dislocation of the disk that is located between the jawbone and the socket
  • Emotional/psychological stress resulting in grinding or clenching of the teeth and jaw
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Signs that a TMJ disorder may be present include:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Pain in or near your ear
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing
  • Generalized aching, facial pain, and headaches
  • Locking or restricted movement of the joint
  • Noise when opening or closing your jaw

TMJ treatment options include:

  • TMJ specific massage
  • Physical therapy and/or chiropractic care
  • Relaxation techniques, warm compress on your jaw, and an overall focus on stress reduction
  • Evaluation with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  • Evaluation with your dentist

Are you experiencing TMJ discomfort?

I advise that clients approach treatment of TMJ disorders with openness. It is very common that a client will need more than one type of treatment. For example, one client may find the best success with a combination of TMJ massage and chiropractic treatment, while another will find that a bite guard and relaxation techniques are their best success.

Let’s discuss your concerns and help you find some relief! Call or email me anytime.

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