If you place your fingers in front of each ear and open your jaw, you'll feel lots of wiggling. This is where your skull's temporal bone attaches to your mandible (jaw): the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Lots of ligaments, cartilage, fascia, discs, muscles, nerves and blood vessels run in, around and through it.
When the TMJ joint is misaligned it is called TMJ Syndrome or TMD (Temporomandibular Dysfunction). Common symptoms include the inability to open the mouth wide and a clicking or popping sound when the mouth opens or closes. In some cases the jaw can even temporarily lock up. Other TMJ symptoms can include cheek or jaw pain, headaches; tinnitus (ringing in the ears), facial nerve pain; ear pain; dental pain and nausea.
According to one researcher, up to 78% of the general public has some degree of TMJ dysfunction.
The Standard Dental/Medical Approach
Standard approaches to treating TMD include muscle relaxant drugs, pain killers, oral appliances, such as a night guard to control bruxism (grinding of the teeth), massage and a soft diet to ease the pain of chewing. Other treatments include orthodontics and physical therapy. In severe cases jaw surgery has been performed.
The Chiropractic Approach
Dr. Short uses a very specific system of neuromuscular analysis to analyze skull/jaw/spinal structural relationships and correct any abnormal biomechanics that are responsible for jaw pain through the use of a gentle and highly effective form of Chiropractic adjustment. All TMD sufferers should have a Chiropractic checkup with a Doctor of Chiropractic who is well versed in treating this condition.