TMJ

New research is showing that the TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint or Jaw Joint) is implicated in many far-reaching health problems throughout the body. It is often referred to as TMD (Temporo-Mandibular-Dysfunction). The jaw joints are not just passive hinge joints for chewing food or talking. Its dysfunction and correction may prove to be the key to many unresponsive chronic pain symptoms.

Symptoms Of TMJ Dysfunction

·      Grinding of the teeth,

·      Jaw clenching,

·      Tension

·      Clicking

·      Facial pain

·      Ear pain

·      Tension headaches

·      Neck and shoulder tightness

·      Low back pain and stiffness

·      Dizziness

·      Indigestion

·      Hiatal hernia

·      Irritable bowels

·      Anxiety

·      Sleep problems

·      General fatigue.

Chronic Stress and the TMJ

Whenever the body is in a chronic stress state due to physical or emotional overwhelm, it will often get "stuck" in a chronic alarm state involving the fight/flight survival system. This alarm response is initiated by the clenching of the jaw muscles and this sends a cascade of effects throughout the body.

The fight/flight system is designed to protect the body in times of danger, heightening muscle strength and increasing adrenaline and cortisol for emergency energy and protection. However, if the fight/flight system inappropriately stays "on" because of chronic stress or pain, it interferes with the jaw and related functions because it perpetuates chronic clenching. This will also perpetuate chronic metabolic overload because of the increased adrenaline and cortisol-this is called Sympathetic Dominance and doesn't allow the body or the mind to "Chill and Heal". 

The Functions of the Jaw Joint

Fight/Flight reactions, in times of perceived danger, cause the jaw muscles to automatically clench to protect the vulnerable jaw joint and skull. This also signals the spinal muscles to tighten to protect the neck and low back. This is part of the fight/flight reaction, although it should normally relax when the danger passes. If stress or pain levels are unresolved, it can get stuck in this chronically tight pattern. A person may experience jaw clenching, tension, headaches, grinding of the teeth or vague sense of anxiousness. Many people will report that it is just difficult to "relax and let go."

At Clark Chiropractic we utilize many different treatments to get the best results and customize treatments for each patient.  We use a state of the art digital x-ray machine to get an in-depth look at what each person has going on to determine the best treatment plan; utilizing therapies, such as electrical stim, ultrasound, traction, myofascial release, light and infrared therapy, trigger therapy, cupping, and CBD treatments helps to get results quicker and more effectively.   Our Chiropractors are capable of using many different styles of adjusting to meet the needs of each individual patient.  In conjunction with or as a stand-alone treatment, our doctors also perform acupuncture.