The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most used joints amongst all. Due to the nature and biomechanics of the joint and its function, it is considered a vulnerable joint. Unfortunately TMJ problems in many cases considered as a natural aging condition thus it would be easily neglected. It might have different clinical manifestations. It might show as jaw pain or tenderness or even locking during yawning, biting or chewing. It could sometimes manifest as a clicking or popping sounds but not all of these sounds are pathological. In some cases it shows itself as earaches, headaches or even Shoulder and neck pain or stiffness.
Etiology of the TMJ problems are mostly known. It could be from traumatic incidents either from motor vehicle accidents or sport injuries, malocclusion syndrome or even overuse due to the chewing gums. Other known etiologies are stress, anxiety disorders, grinding or clenching in the sleep or even dental problems. Also individuals that undergo multiple dental works might show levels of discomfort in their TMJs due to the prolonged amount of time as they have been asked to keep their mouths open.
Researches shows that osteopathic manual practice techniques are effective in treating TMJ problems. Osteopathic manual practitioners use different types of techniques ranging from joint mobilization to muscle energy techniques to help the patients with their pain. These techniques are none-invasive, gentle, simple and effective. They miraculously can help with alleviating the pain and discomfort in the joint.
Keep this in mind that a simple popping sound might be normal to some extent and it does not necessarily mean that the individual has a serious problem in TMJ but there is nothing normal about having pain or discomfort while speaking or chewing. If you have any of these symptoms or the discomfort in the TMJ did not fade away after your recent visit to your dentist and having dental work, it is highly recommended to see a osteopathic manual practitioner for further investigations. while there are different ways to address the problem, no one should live in pain. Yes! We are here to help.