The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located just below the ears. It is the area where the lower portion of the jaw (mandible) articulates with the temporal bone (part of the skull). There is a disc (shock absorber) between these two bones that helps with movement. The muscles associated with the TMJ are the masseter, lateral and medial pterygoid, and the temporalis.
Clicking or popping in the jaw when opening and closing is caused by the displacement of the disc in the joint. Excessive chewing may produce pain in the jaw. The muscles in the jaw area may be tender to palpation. Severe headaches maybe present. These above factors maybe a result or cause of a TMJ dysfunction.
Recent dental work may aggravate the TMJ. If the jaw is kept open for an extended period of time the TMJ may become stiff and the associated muscles may go into a spasm. Subluxations (joint misalignments) and spasm of the muscles in the neck may refer pain into the jaw area mimicking a TMJ dysfunction.
The majority of the population seeks medical help for a quick fix for pain relief. The medications that are prescribed help diminish the pain but do not treat the underlying cause of the dysfunction. The Doctor of Chiropractic looks for these causes.
The Chiropractor will perform an initial consultation and a detailed medical history. After the physical, orthopedic, and chiropractic examinations, radiographs of the area of chief complaint may be warranted for further diagnosis. Based on the findings the chiropractor gives a report of findings and a treatment plan, which will be discussed with the patient. Referrals to other practitioners are made if necessary.
Mass Ave Chiropractic Center
Dr. Daniel LaBell
313 Lunenburg Street, (Rt. 2A - Mass Ave), Fitchburg, MA 01420 - Only 500 yds. North of the John Fitch Hwy -