The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a localized pain disorder called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
Causes of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome include injury to the teeth or jaw, misalignment of the teeth or jaw, teeth grinding, poor posture, stress, arthritis, and gum chewing.
Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome include:
- pain in the jaw joint,
- jaw clicking and popping,
- ear pain,
- popping sounds in ears,
- stiff or sore jaw muscles,
- pain in the temple area, or
- locking of the jaw joint.
Chiropractic can help TMJ pain by gently releasing imbalances in the muscles that hold the jaw in position (posterior digastric, internal and external pterygoid).
Manual or instrument adjustments can then help realign the jaw. These adjustments can help restore alignment, improve mobility, and relieve pain and stiffness.
Other types of treatment that may also be recommended for relief of TMJ pain may include:
- ice packs
- stretching and strengthening exercises.