Controlling TMJ

According to Richard Hoff in a seminar called Wrapped Up in Fascia – The TMJ
Connection” that I attended in January 2013

TMJ or TMD Syndrome is an
umbrella term covering acute or chronic inflammation of temporomandibular
joint which connects the mandible to the skill. This disorder and resultant
dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment. There are a variety of
treatment approaches because this disorder crosses over into dentistry and
neurology. On the average the symptoms will involve more than one of the
numerous TMJ components: nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones,
connective tissue, and the teeth. Ear pain and tinnitus (ringing of the ears) are
associated with the swelling of near-by tissues and is a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorders.

Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may be:

• Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
• Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
• Dull, aching pain in the face
• Earache (particularly in the morning)
• Headache (particularly in the morning)
• Hearing loss
• Migraine
• Jaw Pain or tenderness of the jaw
• Reduced ability to pen or close the mouth
• Tinnitus
• Neck and shoulder pain

Disorders of the teeth can contribute to TMJ dysfunction. Impaired tooth
mobility such as braces and other dental appliances and tooth loss can be caused
by destruction of the supporting bone and by heavy forces being placed on teeth.
The movement of the teeth affects how they contact one another when the
mouth closes, and the overall relationship between the teeth, muscles, and joints
can be altered.

One of the major contributors of TMJ is stress. Patients of TMJ often experience
pain such as migraines or headaches, ad consider this pain TMJ-related. There is
some evidence for this in that more than 50% of people who use nighttime
biofeedback to reduced nighttime clenching experience a significant reduction in
migraines and headaches as well as a reduction in direct TMJ pain. TMJ can also
cause the following: cervical pain, migraines, myofascial pain, fibromyalgia and
stress.

Myofascial Release can be a very effective way of treating TMJ and its related
symptoms. This is done using a variety of hands on techniques, inter-oral
techniques and balancing the pelvic floor.

This article was written by Jan Rudeen, a licensed massage therapist, working at
Moore Chiropractic Center in Bonners Ferry, ID. She also holds a degree in Speech
Pathology from the University of Washington and is licensed to administer
myofascial release procedures.

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