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Understanding the TMJ Part I: Introduction to the TMJ

Countless people deal with TJM pain and dysfunction on a regular basis (this includes clicking, popping, grinding, and more).

In this first part of the TMJ series, Dr. Sean teaches you about what the TMJ is and why it may be causing pain and discomfort. TMD or temporomandibular disorders are common problems among people, with 5-15% of people suffering with these problems, women being twice as likely to have these disorders.

Dr. Sean discusses the common symptoms patients experience when they have TMJ, including joint pain and headaches, and why they occur. He explains the differences between the pain coming from inside the joint itself, as well as pain coming from outside the joint. When TM joints are locked, it wears down on the structures inside of the joints and creates pain.

The disc that is inside of the joint can be pushed forward, which creates a clicking sound that many people experience while eating. If this disc is pushed forward for a long period of time, it puts lots of pressure on the joint, which would also create TMJ pain.

As for pain being caused by problems outside of the jaw itself, it is commonly caused by tight muscles, which creates a decreased range of motion. Postural changes can also play a role in jaw pain. If there is a head tilt, there will be an asymmetric load on the body, causing muscles to work differently than they are supposed to. Finally, misalignments in the spine (specifically in the upper neck) can cause cells in the nervous system to act differently, creating dysfunction and problems further down the road.

Watch our video to learn more about the TMJ:

Chiropractic may be able to help decrease your TMJ pain. If you've been dealing with long term TMJ pain, book an assessment with one of our doctors!

Nostos Chiropractic is a southeast Calgary chiropractic clinic. We offer chiropractic programs for pain relief, wellness, and posture improvement for adults, kids and teens. We also offer athletic therapy and massage therapy from our clinic.

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