TMJ disorders are a common occurrence with estimates stating that about 10 million in the US are dealing with pain and range of motion issues in the jaw. However, there are definitely ways to counteract the pain and still enjoy everything from eating to sleeping. Here are a few tips for dealing with TMJ problems naturally, including the best sleep position.
If you deal with chronic pain in the temporomandibular joint, you’re likely looking for an effective way to manage your pain. Getting relief can allow you to go back to enjoying everyday things like speaking, eating, and sleeping. These simple acts can be too difficult when you have a TMJ disorder. But you may wonder:
We will answer these questions for you in our article.
A TMJ disorder can cause numerous symptoms besides just pain in the jaw. Here are some of the more common signs of a TMJ disorder:
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It is important to note, however, that some of these underlying causes can have a similar genesis. For example, bruxism can be due to stress. A misaligned jaw or arthritis can be due to trauma. Ultimately many TMJ problems go back to the same underlying issue: misalignment of the C1 (atlas) vertebra.
This is because the atlas is directly between the ears and the TMJ. When a misalignment occurs, the surrounding soft tissue shifts to compensate. This keeps the head balanced. However, it can affect the ears, the jaw, and the facial nerve, among other things. It can also affect blood flow to the head and brainstem function. This can lead to all of the symptoms of TMJ problems.
Obviously, this underlying problem needs correction to obtain long-term relief. However, before we discuss how a TMJ chiropractor in Calgary can help, we will take a few moments to give you some TMJ pain management tips you can implement at home.
There are some ways to provide yourself some self-care at home to reduce the pain associated with TMJ dysfunction.
Ice is the best way to counteract inflammation, so this is particularly important if there is visible swelling. But even a little inflammation can cause pain, so it makes sense to use ice. Never put the ice or ice pack in direct contact with the skin, and be sure to use ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Don’t use heat on your jaw because it will have the opposite effect on inflammation.
Rest it from singing or yelling and try to avoid yawning. You can also eat softer foods for a few days. Try scrambled eggs or yogurt for breakfast. Enjoy some soup. Cook fruits and veggies rather than eating them raw. Try to avoid tough meats. Definitely, don’t chew gum.
Besides stretching, you can also massage the TMJ. The joint is about an inch in from your ear lobe. Massage in a circular motion going to the corners of your mouth and back to the TMJ.
If you work at a desk, make sure all of your monitors are at eye level so that you don’t end up adopting a forward head position. Limit mobile use to set times of the day, and hold your phone or tablet up, so you are not craning your neck so far. Pay special attention to your posture while driving. If you have to drive a long distance, stop at a rest area every couple of hours even if you don’t need the bathroom. It’s important to get out and walk.
This can help you to avoid one of the primary triggers of TMJ pain, neck pain, and headaches.
Self-care is good, but it won’t take care of the underlying cause of the pain. For that, you will want to see an upper cervical chiropractor. There is a specific form of chiropractic that focuses on the top two bones in the neck—upper cervical chiropractic. It uses diagnostic imaging to measure misalignments down to fractions of a millimeter because such a small subluxation can make a big difference in this part of the body.
Adjustments are extremely gentle and precise. This gives the surrounding soft tissue the time it needs to heal. As a result, jaw and ear position and function can return to normal. You may rapidly notice an end to pain, headaches, vertigo, and other symptoms. Since the adjustments are long-lasting, you will only need occasional maintenance after the soft tissue has stabilized. That makes upper cervical chiropractic a cost-effective solution as well.So, if you have been struggling with chronic jaw pain, it is time to visit a TMJ chiropractor in Calgary. An initial consultation may be your first step to finally becoming pain-free. Call Vibe Health & Spine at 587-803-3354 or fill out our form to set an appointment with one of our doctors.
To schedule a consultation with Vibe Health and Spine, call our Calgary office at 587-803-3354. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.