Your jaw joint, or temperomandibular joint (TMJ/TMD) gets its name from the two bones which form the joint. The temporal bone of your skull and the mandible or jaw bone fit together to form a hinge-like joint. Popping and clicking of the TMJ while opening your mouth, locking of the jaw, or chewing indicates that your TMJ is not functioning properly. TMD can cause headaches, ringing in your ear, face pain, and pain across your neck and shoulders.
When an imbalance of the TMJ is found, it can be corrected by balancing the jaw’s muscular activity with routine chiropractic adjustments and treatment. Muscles from the jaw attach to the C1 “atlas” vertebrae, which makes having this bone in alignment so important when dealing with jaw pain in Fort Collins. When it is misaligned it causes muscle imbalances making your jaw move irregularly.
Basic Treatments for TMJ Pain in Fort Collins
- Apply moist heat or cold packs. Apply a warm towel or rice bag to the side of your face for about 5 minutes Do a few simple stretching exercises for your jaw (as instructed by your health care professional). After exercising, apply an ice pact to the side of face and temple area for about 10 minutes to reduce inflammation.
- Avoid chewy foods. Eat soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, soup, scrambled eggs, fish, cooked fruits and vegetables, beans and grains. Cutting foods into small pieces will decrease the amount of chewing required. Avoid hard and crunchy foods (like hard rolls, pretzels, raw carrots), chewy foods (like steaks, caramels and taffy), and thick or large foods (like submarine sandwiches and apples) that require your mouth to open wide to eat.
- Avoid extreme jaw movements. Keep yawning and chewing (especially gum or ice) to a minimum and activities that you open your jaw wide such as yelling or singing.
- Don’t rest your chin on your hand or hold the phone between your shoulder and ear. Practice good posture to reduce neck and facial pain.
- Keep your teeth slightly apart as often as you can to relieve pressure on the jaw. To control jaw clenching and grinding during the day, place your tongue between your teeth.
- Massage the side of your jaw to release tight and sore muscles of the jaw.
- Use a close pin between your molars with the open end in the back of your mouth with your jaw slightly closed to create a gently traction of jaw muscles.
Conservative Treatments for TMJ pain
- Myofoacial Release. Performed by a trained professional to release taught and tender muscle fibers that are complicating normal motion patterns of the jaw.
- Chiropractic Adjustments. Performed by a trained professional further address the irregular movement patterns of the opening and closing of the jaw.
- Stretching of the Jaw musculature aids in proper function.
As a chiropractic office we frequently help people with TMJ in Fort Collins, and we get great results. So why are you still dealing with this TMJ problem, when help is right around the corner? When you are ready to get rid of this debilitating condition, give us a call and together we will begin down the road to recovery!
So if you are looking for a new perspective, a second opinion, or an alternative solution to your aches and pains, pick up the phone and call 970.491.9191 right now!