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Avoid arthritis in your jaw! Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder



Around 60-70% of the general population has at least one sign of a Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. Typical Symptoms of the TMJ Sufferer

  • Neck pain

  • Jaw soreness, especially in the morning

  • Headaches on waking in the morning

  • Jaw cracks upon opening or during eating

  • Headaches lasting for days, ear pain

  • Jaw locking at times

TMJ problems arise from faulty articulation of the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint caused by one or more of:

  1. Dental malocclusion

  2. Emotional stress producing masseter (jaw muscles) spasm

  3. Pelvic misalignment

A patient’s experience with TMJ problems

A few weeks ago I began having and the lower jaw bone (or mandible). There are many things that can cause this problem. Teeth that don’t align properly -- “malocclusion” in medical lingo -- is a very common cause. Some people grind their teeth -- a condition called bruxism. This usually occurs at night and can lead to pain in the TMJ. Injury to the jaw or the side of the head can also cause TMJ syndrome. And, you can get arthritis in the TMJ, just like any other joint in the body. My specialist advised I should try osteopathy…

How can Osteopathy help? When this patient presented to our clinic in Mayfair, she was at the end of her tether with her pain, sleepless nights and constant ear and jaw discomfort during the day. On this istance after assessing her jaw, I observed that, muscular dysfunction within the joint had been causing the jaw to deviate from its normal alignment. Theoretically, the joint will stay in proper alignment and should work well if any muscle imbalance is corrected (ie. by ensuring both sides of the jaw are of equal length, to prevent uneven pulling of the jaw muscles).

The osteopathic techniques I used focused on restoring normal muscular function without the use of drugs, splints or surgery. This was achieved by specific soft tissue release of the jaw, neck, upper back and pelvic joints to restore normal spinal mechanics. Any tension in the mid back and shoulder blades were corrected as well as any restriction in the cervical spine (neck). My osteopathic treatment of the cervical spine focuses strongly on the sub-occipital muscles (muscles under your skull) and correction of the occipito-atlantal joint (joint between the skull and top of your neck) onto which many TMJ-related muscles attach indirectly due to their close proximity. Following the manual correction of the jaw muscles and the joint of the neck and upper back, the patient was taught some restorative jaw muscles and specific postural correction exercises to prevent further misalignments. REFERENCES Andersson, G.B.J., Lucente, T., Davis, A.M., Kappler, R.E., Lipton, J.A., Leurgans, S., 1999. A comparison of N. Engl. J. Med. 341, 1426e1431. Buescher, J.J., 2007. Temporomandibular joint disorders. Am. Fam. Physician 15 (76), 1477e1482. Carlson, C.R., Bertrand, P.M., Ehrlich, A.D., Maxwell, A.W., Burton, R.G., 2001. Physical self -regulation training for the management of temporomandibular disorders. J. Orofac. Pain 15, 47e55

#Osteopathy #Arthritis #Headaches #Joints #Pain #TMJ

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W1K 1QW

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Registered office: 4 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QW | Registered No. 08860905

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