Jaw pain is a common condition. Estimates state that as many as 10 million people may be affected in the US alone. While some may refer to their jaw pain as TMJ, that acronym stands for temporomandibular joint and just refers to the joint where the lower jaw meets the skull. Therefore, the condition is more appropriately referred to as TMD or TMJ dysfunction.
What causes so many people to suffer from jaw pain? What can be done to help sufferers? Read on to learn more about this common ailment.
A Common and Often Overlooked Cause for Jaw Pain
Jaw pain often radiates up to the ear and down toward the neck. This phenomenon helps to explain a common underlying cause. When the atlas (C1) is out of alignment, this can easily affect everything from the ear nerves to facial nerves. The results can be tingling, numbness, pain, and limited movement.
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Therefore, when one experiences TMD, an important consideration is whether the patient has a history of head or neck trauma. If so, a misalignment may very well be the underlying cause.
Correcting an Upper Cervical Misalignment
When a misalignment occurs at this important juncture, precision is the key. The atlas protects the brainstem, it’s position can also affect the trigeminal nerve, which is the primary nerve in the face. A misalignment can also cause the muscles to shift in an effort to correct the problem. As a result, the jaw can become misaligned. Correcting the underlying problem is an important first step in allowing the body to heal.
At Back in Balance, we use the NUCCA technique to identify and correct such misalignments gently. A gentle approach is more precise and allows for a longer lasting correction that gives the body the time it needs to heal.
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