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If you've been told you have TMJ, you may be understandably worried and confused. Here are some answers to common TMJ questions from our Lindenhurst, Illinois chiropractor, Dr. Mark Freund.

What is TMJ? TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. The joint in question is the hinge of the jaw, a complex system of muscles, ligaments, cartilage and bone. When this joint becomes stressed or damaged, you may experience chronic jaw pain and stiffness, tongue pain, facial pain and swelling, headaches, and neck pain.

What causes this condition? A variety of circumstances cause TMJ. You may have osteoarthritis or some other kind of joint degeneration brought about by a bite misalignment, or you may have suffered an acute injury from an impact to the jaw. Constant muscle tension and teeth clenching or grinding can also cause TMJ. Sometimes there is no obvious cause at all.

Can't painkillers resolve my symptoms? Anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve pain and reduce swelling temporarily, but they can't address the underlying structural problems behind a case of TMJ. Even if your condition appears to clear up, it is likely to keep coming back until you get those problems dealt with.

How does chiropractic treatment help? Our Lindenhurst, Illinois chiropractor, Dr. Mark Freund, treats TMJ with what we call collaborative care. That means we administer our natural, non-invasive techniques as a complement to other established TMJ treatments such as dental night guards and maxillofacial surgery. Even after your bite is corrected, you may still have chronic pain from tension in the muscles connecting your jaw to your skull. Our job is to perform adjustments that take the pressure off these sensitive tissues.

What kinds of chiropractic adjustment will you use? Dr. Freund uses a specialized, highly effective technique known as Atlas Orthogonal Technique to relieve muscular tension in the heads, jaws, and necks of our Lindenhurst, Illinois TMJ patients. This method uses a stylus to exert tiny, precise amounts of pressure on the Atlas vertebra at the top of the spine. This allows your head to sit straighter on your neck so your muscles can function without undue strain from the weight of the skull.

What varieties of ongoing preventative care should I pursue? In addition to whatever advice your dentist may have for you, our chiropractor can provide you with therapeutic exercises to help strengthen weakened jaw muscles and normalize jaw function. We may also advise you on ways to maintain an upright posture while working or studying, with the head held at the correct angle to avoid neck strain and spinal misalignment. A smart preventative strategy may include periodic chiropractic evaluations to make sure your spinal alignment is still in good shape.

Visit Our Lindenhurst, Illinois Clinic

We are more than happy to answer any further questions you may have about TMJ and evaluate your symptoms. Contact us at Natural Care Chiropractic today to schedule a consultation with our chiropractor, Dr. Mark Freund. We can help you keep TMJ at bay!

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