By WIN Contributor: Dr. Nicholas Slowinski, Chiropractor
Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a class of disorders, which affect the muscles we use for chewing and the hinge joint in our jaw, the temporomandibular joint. This type of condition is one of the most common causes of pain in the mouth and face and has the potential to produce persisting chronic pain in those who do not seek intervention. TMDs are often associated with other common conditions that people often visit their chiropractor for such as migraine or headache, neck pain, or even fibromyalgia, however few people are aware that similar to any other joint in the body chiropractors can help with jaw pain too!
The National Institutes of health has classified TMD into 3 major categories: myofascial pain, internal derangement or dysfunction and degenerative joint disease. In this case internal derangement includes such things as a dislocated jaw, or a displaced disc within the joint. Degenerative joint disease pertains to the idea of arthritis, or as we like to call them, wrinkles on the joint, simply meaning the result of using a joint often!
When this condition occurs individuals may often feel a clicking/popping when they move their jaw, difficulty or pain with opening or chewing, headache on the side of their head, ringing in their ear, and pain in their jaw which might be felt as discomfort in the muscles they use to move the jaw as well as the neck and shoulders.
Pharmacological interventions with the use of pain killers and muscle relaxants is common for the treatment of this type of condition, however there is substantial evidence that reliance on these types of medications can lead to alarming gastro-intestinal side effects. Many dentists will often prescribe a night splint or bite plate, which have offered patients a conservative method of some relief of these symptoms.
Manual therapy from either a chiropractor or physiotherapist have shown to be clinically effective in giving patients long term pain relief through soft tissue therapy, manipulation of the joint, acupuncture, therapeutic exercise and even laser therapy.
EFFECTIVE TMJ TREATMENT AT WIN
An exciting new way to treat TMD conditions is offered at WIN Health Solutions! This includes the use of localized vibration therapy, targeted at the muscles we use to chew! This type of treatment is completely safe and comfortable for patients! New research has even supported that as little as one treatment session with vibration can have a beneficial effect by increasing mouth opening and decreasing pain!
By using a combination of therapeutic interventions, members of our chiropractic and physiotherapy teams are able to offer each patient an individualized treatment option for TMD. This might include TMJ mobilization, soft tissue therapy of painful muscles, specific exercises to stretch, strengthen and stabilize the jaw, acupuncture and much more!
Visit us at WIN Health Solutions and we’ll work with you, and your dentist to take a bite out of jaw pain and TMD.