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Chiropractic for TMJ Disorder
Do you struggle with the painful symptoms of TMJ disorder? TMJ symptoms can make it hard to yawn, open your mouth wide, chew, or even receive dental care. In addition to limiting the range of movement in the jaw, TMJ disorder can cause debilitating pain in the face, ears, neck, and shoulders. Headaches, earaches, and problems swallowing can also occur. Conventional treatments for the condition may not be very effective. But at Natural Care Chiropractic in Lindenhurst, IL, Dr. Mark Freund can help restore your jaw's natural range of motion and relieve pain and muscle tension associated with TMJ.
Comprehensive Chiropractic Care for TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder can occur as the result of an injury to the jaw or from overuse due to chewing food too often on one side of the mouth or chewing too much gum. Physical stress, such as that associated with sitting in a dentist's chair with your mouth open for several hours, can contribute to TMJ disorder. Emotional stress is another contributing factor. Degenerative disease of the temporomandibular joint, or subluxation of spinal discs and vertebrae, can also contribute to the disorder, as can the wearing of high-heeled shoes or poor posture.
Chiropractic care for TMJ disorder seeks to realign the position of the jaw, and can even be used in conjunction with dental treatments that attempt to correct the disorder by fixing problems with the bite. Dr. Freund treats TMJ disorder using the Atlas Orthogonal Technique of chiropractic. This technique focuses on gently adjusting the atlas vertebra, the very top vertebra in the spine. The atlas vertebra supports the head, and if the head is not in alignment, the rest of the spine cannot be in alignment, either. Subluxation of the atlas vertebra can stress the entire musculoskeletal system, and lead to subluxations throughout the spine.
Unlike some other chiropractic techniques, the Atlas Orthogonal Technique does not rely on sharply twisting or cracking the neck or other sections of the spine. The adjustment is so gentle that many patients do not feel the adjustment itself; they feel only the improvement in their functioning. The adjustment involves applying gentle pressure to the atlas vertebra at the exact spot where such pressure is needed, without twisting the head or cracking the spine in any way. The technique is so gentle that even those patients who do not normally like chiropractic manipulation of the neck can tolerate it.
Once the position of the cranium and atlas vertebra are adjusted, the rest of the spine and other joints throughout the body fall into alignment, too. Often, TMJ disorder can cause painful tension and stress in the muscles that attach the jawbone to the skull. Adjusting the atlas vertebra can relieve that tension and stress, to ease pain in these muscles and restore proper jaw functioning without the need for invasive surgery or potentially addictive pain medications. Talk to Dr. Freund today to learn more about how chiropractic can help your TMJ symptoms.