Can Chiropractors Help With TMJ?

If you suffer from a temporomandibular disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ even though that designation actually stands for temprormandibular joint, you know the pain and discomfort it can cause. You’ve probably been scouring the internet, looking for solutions and treatments. As you consider your options, don’t forget to look into some chiropractic care. You might be surprised at the relief it can offer.

What is TMJ?

TMJ refers to problems associated with the jaw. You might experience pain in the face, jaw, neck and shoulders. This pain can even continue up to your ear area when you chew or open your mouth wide. You might also have a limited range of motion with your jaw and only be able to open it so far. Often, people suffering from TMJ might hear a clicking or popping noise when they use their jaw and sometimes their jaw can even get stuck in one position. As you can see, TMJ problems can have a major impact on your ability to speak, eat, and just live comfortably.

Treatment Options

There are many treatment options when it comes to dealing with TMJ. A lot of these are things you can do on your own at home. For example, you can apply a cold compress to your jaw and face. Follow this with some jaw stretching and strengthening exercises and then finish off with a warm compress. You can also get a guard fitted to your mouth for night use. This will help prevent any teeth grinding and will keep your jaw aligned correctly. If you’re looking for simple ideas, you can avoid chewing gum, focus on keeping your jaw relaxed during the day, and massage the area every evening before bed.

Medical Treatment Options

If you aren’t satisfied with the results you’re getting from home treatments, there are some medical options as well. Your dentist can prescribe muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications. You can also have corrective dental work done to replace missing teeth, correct any alignment issues, or fix a bite problem. Finally, there are also laser treatments available that are intended to relax the jaw and neck area and increase your range of mobility.

Chiropractic Treatment Options

Another option you might want to research as you consider treatment for you TMJ is chiropractic care. There are several ways that chiropractic care can help alleviate your symptoms. For example, a chiropractor can work to correct your spinal alignment. This can, in turn, restore proper nervous system function which may help alleviate jaw pain. In some cases, your TMJ symptoms might be a result of poor posture or a back problem. By having chiropractic adjustments performed on your neck and back, you might find relief from a lot of your discomfort. Finally, your chiropractor might do some trigger point therapy around the jaw itself and work to relax those muscles. This can go a long way toward relieving your symptoms. When combined with some of the other options described above, chiropractic care can be a very effective treatment for TMJ.

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Can a Chiropractor Help With Herniated Discs?

While most chiropractors are known for fixing back issues, mostly “cracking” or “popping” your back, there are other chiropractors out there that help with more than just that. There are a few options when going to a chiropractor that you can choose from, depending on your ailment(s). Having a herniated disc is actually somewhat pretty common issue that, in numerous cases there is no pain, restrictions on movement, or any of the other side effects; that is common for others.  

Herniated Discs and how an Arizona Chiropractor Can Help

A herniated disc and/or bulging disc is a protrusion or “sticking out” of a disc. It usually isn’t visible with anything other than an MRI or X-ray. Imagine holding squeezing a ball between your hands, the ball being the disc. If you squeeze unevenly, that extra bulge on either side of your hands is how a herniated disc sits.  In most cases people are diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc, but have no idea how it happened or any kind of injury that would have caused this. While injuring you back can cause this, the main cause of a herniation is due to uneven pressure placed on the disc caused by muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances pull your bones and joints, most notable in the spine and pelvis, out of place. This causes the body to have extra uneven wear and tear.

Pain from this herniation is pretty common, but differs depending on the muscles that are being pulled and placement of the herniated disc. While seeing a chiropractor can in fact help relieve a lot of the pain, it typically lasts only a few days. In a lot of cases if the pain is severe enough, it has been sought out to use cortisone injections into the spine; which helps numb the disc while at the same time adding a steroid between the vertebrae’s on either side of the disc. Also there is the option of electrical stimulation; essentially this is a device that controls two to four sticky foam pieces attached to some wires. You place the pads on your back around the disc. When on there are different settings that stimulate the muscles to help relax them.

While a chiropractor is meant to manually move the bones and joints being pulled out of place, into proper position and does help alleviate issues in a treatment plan. Typically seeing a chiropractor on occasion isn’t entirely useful without a plan to help keep the muscles from unbalancing. This treatment plan should include stretching and corrective exercising.

A herniated disc can happen in any part of the spine, because of this, there can be no side effects for some and for others there can be slight to extremely bad side effects. To help alleviate any side effects due to a herniated or bulging disc, you should seek a chiropractor to help manually balance your body out, while at the same time doing proper exercising and stretching.  This helps keep the muscles and joints from having uneven pressure, which in the end will help an already herniated disc, or future herniated discs. If the herniation is severe enough that seeing a chiropractor and exercises don’t help much, there are options available. Talk to your doctor about your options and remember to stretch!