By Jane McClurg 14th November 2017
Recently in the clinic I've been seeing quite a few people with pain in their jaw and many people mention to me that they either clench or grind their teeth at night.
Is this you?
This can contribute to tight and sore neck muscles as well and is often what people book in for a massage for then casually mention the grinding and headaches!
Do you suffer from any of the following?
These are all common signs and symptoms indicating dysfunction to the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint in front of the ear which allows us to speak, chew, swallow, kiss, and produce normal facial expressions. Problems to this joint are usually caused by injuries from whiplash, falls, trauma at birth, etc, but can also be due to stress and normal wear and tear. It is very common for the onset of symptoms to be delayed for months or years after an injury.
Massage of the muscles of the head, face, neck, and shoulders can help alleviate these symptoms by releasing trigger points and muscle spasms that cause the jaw to function abnormally.
I have used dry needling very successfully for jaw pain; by using very fine needles inserted into the trigger points in the masseter muscle of the jaw. The relief can be instant for some people. Following up with massage and gentle stretching of the area can help.
I almost always recommend being check out by the Back in Action chiropractors as they can do amazing work with jaw dysfunction.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a frequently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed problem, but when identified and treated early, the improvement rate is remarkably high. If left undiagnosed, however, and after the TMJ becomes chronic, the improvement rate drops drastically, and it is possible that you may remain with some permanent symptoms. Thus, early identification and treatment by a competent TMJ specialist is essential for your immediate and future well-being.
So please contact us today if you suffer from any of the above symptoms so we can restore Balance to your TMJ.
Werner, R. (2005) A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
NZCM Handbook (2007) Clinical Therapeutics 4