If you have ever experienced TMJ pain then you probably already know how annoying and painful it can be. If you haven’t then you may be wondering what is TMJ pain, how can I get it, and how do I manage it?
What is the TMJ?
The acronym itself stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint is one of your most powerful and important joints in your body. It is formed by your skull and your jaw bone and involves all the muscles that are necessary to help chew your food on a daily basis. Your TMJ is responsible for opening and closing your mouth, when you’re talking, chewing, or even yawning. Therefore, you can only imagine how important this joint is for anyone’s daily activities and how difficult it can be for someone to deal with TMJ pain if it becomes a constant problem.
What Causes TMJ Pain?
The bones that make up this joint are separated by a disc of cartilage which allows for your jaw to move smoothly in various directions. However, when the muscles are irritated, and the disc may become displaced, the smoothness may be disrupted, and in return making the movements of your jaw more painful. Some common signs of TMJ pain are popping, clicking, muscle tenderness, joint tenderness, and not being able to open your jaw as wide as possible (should be able to fit three finger width with ease). The biomechanics of this joint can be disrupted by several ways such as myofascial pain (pain in the muscles that control the jaw), this is the most common form. Internal derangement of the joint, or a dislocated or displaced disc, and lastly degenerative joint disease, such as arthritis in the jaw joint.
How Can I Manage TMJ Pain?
Here are a few helpful tips that you can start implementing at home along with chiropractic adjustments to help manage your TMJ pain:
- Eating softer foods
- Applying an ice pack to the area when the pain is really bad
- Avoiding extreme jaw movements
- Identifying if you clench your teeth at night and wearing a night guard to prevent this
If these tips are still not giving you the relief you need then book an appointment at Oakville Chiropractic Centre. Our trained doctors can help you get more relief by providing you with stretches and exercises you can do at home to strengthen the muscles around this fragile joint as well as very gentle Chiropractic adjustments to this joint in order to get it moving better. Don’t let the annoying pain of TMJ stop you from living your best life! We can help you seek the relief you’ve been longing for.
Dr. Nishma Appanna, DC