Chiropractors have helped countless patients recover from chronic back and neck pain — especially in recent years, as the benefits of chiropractic care have come to greater attention. Chiropractors may be misunderstood in some ways, but make no mistake — they’re highly trained, and the skills they possess can offer drug-free, surgery-free relief for a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders.
So what kinds of aches and pains can chiropractic treat? You’re probably imagining patients with sore backs and necks filing into the office — and those are common problems that can be treated with chiropractics. But there are other problems — jaw pain, for example — that can also benefit from this kind of treatment.
What is TMJ Syndrome and what causes it?
The joint located between the upper and lower jaw can, under certain circumstances, become inflamed and very painful. This disorder is commonly known as TMJ Syndrome, and is said to affect 20-30% of the adult population.
Symptoms of this rather common disorder range from headaches to difficulty chewing and dizziness. Research has found a number of different causes and/or contributing factors, some of which include: vigorous nail biting, degenerative diseases of other joints, and various other kinds of trauma.
What do traditional treatments for TMJ Syndrome include?
Although it is used more widely today, chiropractic care for TMJ Syndrome has not always been a common suggestion. Other more traditional treatments include wearing night guards to prevent teeth grinding, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, and even jaw surgery in severe cases. Eating softer foods is another tactic used to alleviate symptoms — but it’s questionable whether any of these treatments have an impact on the underlying causes.
How does chiropractic care help jaw pain?
Rather than taking extreme measures (such as surgically altering the jaw structure), chiropractic care focuses on relieving tension. By working with specific trigger points in the spine and realigning the spinal and nervous systems, chiropractors are able to address the issue of jaw pain from a new perspective. This method provides one major benefit for those who suffer with TMJ Syndrome — the results are long lasting. Correcting the root of the problem will give results that don’t simply mask the pain, but actually correct the underlying problem. Many chiropractors will also send patients home with exercises they can do by themselves to continue relaxing the muscles and training them to stay in position rather than locking up again.
Since the treatment for your sore jaw is of the greatest importance, you will want to be sure to use only a doctor you can fully trust. If you are searching for the best chiropractor in your area, be sure to ask for recommendations and ask the doctor if he or she has had experience working with patients who are dealing with jaw pain. Working with a trustworthy chiropractor can speed up the process of healing your jaw pain and bring lasting improvements — all without invasive surgery or drugs that cause side effects. At the very least, people who suffer from TMJ Syndrome and other jaw-related conditions should explore chiropractic as a potential treatment and natural source of relief.