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If Chiropractic Therapy Isn’t Relieving Neck Pain, TMJ May Be the Problem

For many people, chiropractic care is a great way to relieve pain, limited movement, and other dysfunction in the back and neck. For others, though, chiropractic care doesn’t resolve the problem. Instead, neck and back problems recur despite treatment, although chiropractic care may provide short-term or partial relief.

A recent published case study revealed that in some cases, that’s because the real problem is temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD, although the case study uses TMJD). Although in the case study, physical therapy is used, neuromuscular dentistry might provide successful treatment faster.

Why Your Chiropractic Isn't Working

“Chiropractic Care All Her Life”

In this case study, the woman presented with chronic pain in her right jaw joint, clicking in the jaw, pain in her back, and regular headaches (about 1-2 per week). She said she had been undergoing chiropractic care all her life for her symptoms, but they persisted. She rated her pain at a 4-6 on a typical 10-point scale. She was rated 14% on the neck disability index (NDI).

Then she was diagnosed with TMJ. This was done, in part, based on electrosonography of her jaw joint, where vibrations consistent with TMJ were recorded.

Posture Treatment

For this case study, physical therapists decided to treat her problems from the standpoint of the posture of her head, which was found to have a 19 mm tilt to the right. With a combination of exercises, spinal adjustments, and traction, the tilted posture of her head was corrected. She was found to have significantly reduced pain (only 2 on a 10-point scale), only 2% on the NDI, and no jaw sounds.

These results were achieved over 12 weeks with the aid of 36 physical therapy treatments.

Neuromuscular Dentistry Can Give Fast Results

This study shows that if chiropractic treatments aren’t working, it’s important to consider other potential explanations for your symptoms. In many cases, TMJ can play an important role in causing painful problems from your back to your head. If you have these symptoms, and they’re not responding to your current treatments, then you should consider whether TMJ therapy could help.

Neuromuscular dentistry is a great treatment for TMJ, and it can often provide results much more quickly than 12 weeks. Many patients are able to experience results at their first appointment. In other cases, it takes longer, with significant relief by six weeks. Complete relief may take as long as 12 weeks, but even in this case, you haven’t had to get repeated treatments. Just the initial visits for diagnosis and fitting the oral appliance. Then you can return to normal life and enjoy the results.

If you’re looking for relief from TMJ-related symptoms in the Hilton Head area, please call (843) 706-2999 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.

By |February 8th, 2018|Headaches, tmj|
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