Your TMJ, short for temporomandibular joint, is one of the most complex joints in your body. It acts as a hinge to open and close your mouth, and it can also glide forward and backward and from side to side to chew your food. Problems with the jaw can be extremely painful. The pain can also be accompanied by clicking, popping, clenching, and grinding.
Some minor TMJ issues can be addressed at home. Some self-care options include:
- Meditation, or other methods to reduce stress
- Ice, which can help to reduce minor inflammation
- Eliminating hard-to-chew foods
Simple jaw issues may see some relief with the above-mentioned steps. However, if there is an underlying problem contributing to your TMJ dysfunction, then oftentimes it requires a more specific approach.
TMJ Pain and Atlas Position
Your skull sits on top of the uppermost vertebra in your spine, the atlas. Your atlas vertebra is designed to be very mobile, giving your head the range of motion to look up and down, side to side and bend from left to right. Because the atlas is so freely movable, it is not very stable. Due to accident, injury, or repetitive movement wear and tear, the atlas can misalign, which can cause abnormal tension in the muscles of the face and neck. This can affect how the lower jaw functions and lead to TMJ pain and discomfort.
The posture of your head on top of your neck can influence the resting position as well as the range of motion of your jaw. If you’ve been troubled with TMJ dysfunction, having your atlas checked for even subtle misalignment may be what it takes to achieve relief. Upper cervical chiropractors are specifically trained to detect and correct atlas misalignments, which can differ greatly from person to person. At Precision Spine Specialists, we will thoroughly evaluate your upper cervical spine to see if an atlas misalignment could be the root cause of your jaw problems. Contact us for your complimentary consultation.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hall or Dr. Chalke call our Franklin office at 615-778-0887 or just 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