TMJ Dysfunction Treatment in KnoxvillePatient suffering form severe pain cause of TMJ disorder

What Is TMJ?

TMJ is a common term that is thrown around whenever one is experiencing jaw pain, but what is it, what are some of the causes of pain and dysfunction, and what is TMJ dysfunction treatment? 

The TMJ or temporomandibular joint is one of, if not the most used joints in the body. As the name implies, it is where the temporal bone of the skull and the mandible, or jawbone, articulate. 

At rest the mandible sits in a little groove in the temporal bone called the mandibular fossa which is cushioned by disc tissue. Whenever we depress our jaw, or open our mouth, the mandible is supposed to smoothly glide out of the fossa and over the disc tissue. However, this is not always the case considering it is estimated that about 10 million or more Americans struggle with TMJ related pain or dysfunction per year and tends to be more common in women than men. 

What Can Cause TMJ Dysfunction?

Some of the factors that contribute to TMJ dysfunction include psychological stress, emotional disturbances, asymmetrical muscle activity, sleep bruxism (clenching or grinding of teeth) and muscle trigger points. Finding the exact cause of TMJ dysfunction is difficult but likely multifactorial. 

There are many ways to treat for TMJ dysfunction depending upon the associated factors such as therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, patient education, stress management, counseling, and correction of faulty bite (malocclusion).

Evaluation and Treatment of the TMJ?

Medical illustration of a skull with a TMJ disorderChiropractic and physical therapy are a great place to start for those with TMJ dysfunction. The focus with any condition is trying to find the cause of the discomfort and/or dysfunction. That includes taking individuals through a history of the condition, looking at jaw movement, palpating the surrounding muscles of the TMJ and neck, etc. 

The major motions of the jaw include mandible depression and elevation, protraction and retraction, and lateral deviation. Looking at the jaw motion is essential in determining any surrounding muscle imbalances. For instance, if the jaw deviates to the left with mandibular depression, that can indicate spasm of the left masseter, left temporalis, or R lateral pterygoid. 

Any alterations in posture can also have an affect on the TMJ as many of the muscles in the neck also affect the TMJ. 

Treatment of the TMJ from a chiropractic and physical therapy standpoint includes things such as soft tissue mobilization of local musculature, manipulation or mobilization of the TMJ, patient education on healthy and unhealthy habits, and some therapeutic exercises to help with posture and TMJ function. 

How To Prevent TMJ PainPatient suffering form severe pain cause of TMJ disorder

There are some things that those with TMJ dysfunction or pain can do to try and decrease their pain. This includes:

  • Not biting nails
  • Not excessively chewing gum
  • Not leaning on chin
  • Eating a softer diet and avoiding caffeine
  • Chewing bilaterally or alternate sides
  • Avoid clenching, biting, gum chewing
  • Avoid stomach sleeping to minimize strain of the jaw
  • Using heat or ice over tender muscles

Due to the high incidence of TMJ problems it possible that you or someone you know is experiencing this compliant. Please consider consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist about your concerns and how they can aid you in healing.

Your Knoxville Chiropractor

With over 15+ years of experience, Knoxville Spine & Sports has the expertise to alleviate your pain to get you to optimal health and peak performance. We specialize in various therapies, techniques and treatment options including chiropractic, physical therapy, dry needling, strengthening & corrective exercises, McKenzie Method and more. Call our office today at (865) 229-8796 to book an appointment for TMJ Dysfunction treatment.

  • Contact Us

    8029 Ray Mears Blvd, Suite 300
    Knoxville, TN 37919
    United States
    Phone: (865) 229-8796
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    contact information

    8029 Ray Mears Blvd, Suite 300
    Knoxville, TN
    37919
    Phone: (865) 229-8796

    office hours

    Monday
    7am-12pm & 1pm-6pm
    Tuesday
    7am-12pm & 1pm-4pm
    Wednesday
    7am-1pm
    Thursday
    7am-12pm & 1pm-6pm
    Friday
    7am-12pm & 1pm-4pm
    Saturday & Sunday
    Closed

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