What is TMJ/TMD?

TMJ EncinitasYour Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your mandible to the temporal bones of the skull.  It is a hinge joint that also has a disc. It is fairly moveable and allows you to move your jaw in almost every range of motion.

The medical community will claim that the cause of Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are “unknown”.  You will that it may be genetic or that one must live with the pain. Science shows that these disorders are like most other processes that occur in the body - multifactorial.  Pain syndromes may arise from direct trauma, overuse, soft-tissue injury, neurological disorders, dental problems, upper spine misalignment, and/or a combination of many of these.  We find that a combination of issue are contributing to our patient’s TMJ problem.

The most effective treatment for people experiences TMD will always be as one that both address the surface level symptom as well as tackling the underlying cause.

How can Chiropractic help with TMJ Pain?

Chiropractors have long been helping people suffering with jaw and facial pain.  By alleviating tension and dysfunction in the spine, especially the upper cervical spine, normal nerve conduction occurs. Here at K2 Health Center, we look at this problem through a different lense. The muscles of the jaw are controlled through the 5th cranial nerve. Sensory innervation of the TMJ comes from the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve.  When an individual experiences a car accident or other trauma it can misalign the top vertebra in the neck, C1 or Atlas. Nerve pressure and muscle tone imbalances ensue, which effects the trigeminal cervical nucleus, which in turn negatively effects the trigeminal nerve, which in turn negatively effects the TMJ! Taking pressure off of the nerves can help decrease pain and more importantly fix the root cause.  

As for the cervical spine, there are several things that need to be determined:

1) Does the patient have a misalignment of the skull on the neck and/or C1 and C2?  If so, how is the causing interference to their central nervous system?

2) 3D Digital Xrays are taken to view and analyze each individuals neck alignment, joint angles, and magnitude of misalignment down to 1/10 of a degree.

Once these factors are determined and taking in all other information regarding what could be contributing to TMD, a precise correction is made to the neck using a sound-wave instrument to gently realign the misaligned vertebra exactly into place.

While we do not claim that upper cervical chiropractic is some sort of a cure-all, we are confident that it is based in science and is extremely low risk when compared to drugs and surgery.

If you suffer with TMJ pain and have tried other forms of treatment without much success, it may be time to look deeper.  The junction where you head meets your neck is commonly labeled the “bottleneck” of neurology. It is where the brain is turning into the spinal cord.  ALL the nerves from your brain must fit into hole the size of a quarter and must be completely uninterrupted. You may just find that your head isn’t on straight! No big deal, give us a chance and let us fix it for you!   

Our center offers a free consultation to anyone who would like to know more.  Get your health back. Get your life back!

Yours in health,

John B. Kupper, D.C.

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Dr. Steven Keener believes in the power that animates the living world, revering the body as an innately intelligent organism of health and wellness.

Through education and empowerment, Dr. K guides patients to embrace a belief system centered on principles of physiology, trusting in the cause and effect of natural law.

With an emphasis in cranio-cervical neurology, tailored care plans are expertly designed to optimize the body’s potential to thrive.
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Encinitas, CA 92024
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