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Resolving TMJ With Chiropractic Care

lady with jaw painDid you know that chiropractic can address TMJ? Dr. Coursen has become an expert over the years on the subject as she’s suffered from the condition. It’s her experience that chiropractic care can relieve TMJ more effectively than getting care at a dental office.

The Dental Office Approach

When patients go to a dentist, they will typically be fitted for a mouthguard. That just protects the teeth against wearing down due to grinding. The problem is a mouthguard doesn’t correct the TMJ.

The Effects of Teeth Grinding

Many people have TMJ due to stress-related issues. They grind their teeth at night and sometimes even during the day. When they grind at night, they don’t even know they’re doing it. Teeth grinding misaligns the jawbone. If it goes on for a long time, the disc that is in between the two jawbones will pop out from where it belongs.

When a patient comes in Dr. Coursen will feel their jaw and see if they have TMJ. Sometimes it’s not TMJ but something else. If they do have TMJ, she will also look at their neck. That’s because the upper portion of the neck (the first vertebra) is rotated out of alignment in those with TMJ. There’s a correlation between the TMJ muscles and the upper neck muscles.

How We Can Address Your TMJ

Dr. Coursen will usually begin with some heat on your neck and shoulder. After that, she does massage and trigger point therapy on the neck and upper back. Often, with people who grind their teeth their upper back is tight due to stress going into those muscles. So she will perform massage and trigger point releases on the TMJ.

Trigger point work is the most effective therapy for TMJ. She also trains patients on how to do trigger point releases at home. “Trigger point releases provide relief to more than half of TMJ patients,” says Dr. Coursen. She also will feel your jaw to see if it’s misaligned. If it is she performs an adjustment to the jaw with the Activator® instrument. Most of her patients that present with TMJ experience significant relief.

Referrals From Local ENTs

A lot of people think TMJ is an ear problem as sometimes they feel pain only in the ear and not the jaw. That’s because the TMJ joint in within a couple of centimeters of your ear. Sometimes the muscles of the TMJ that are so close to the ear make it feel like you have an earache.

Many patients will go to the ENT doctors located close to our practice. When the doctor looks in a patient’s ears and doesn’t see any infections or redness they send that patient to us because they know Dr. Coursen can successfully resolve TMJ.

Dr. Coursen has seen many people who suffer from TMJ for their entire life. They happen to mention it when in for an appointment for their back. She’ll say, “You know I resolve TMJ and they say, ‘I never knew that; I thought just dentists did.'”

Experiencing Correction and Relief

She will diagnose if you do or do not have TMJ. “I’ve had many patients who had it for years who no longer have TMJ as a result of the therapy I’ve provided over just a few visits,” says Dr. Coursen.

Once she corrects the TMJ, Dr. Coursen will help to train you on stress reduction in ways that will help eliminate grinding. If you are a grinder, wearing a mouthguard is a good idea as it helps to protect the teeth—but it won’t correct the actual TMJ and the pain associated with it.
If you’ve been putting up with TMJ and are looking for a natural solution, contact us today to book an appointment with Dr. Coursen!

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