TMJ and the Problems It Causes
Do you experience chronic headaches? Tightness in your jaw or chronic stiff neck? Do you clench or grind your teeth at night? Even mild TMJ dysfunction can affect many individuals. When diagnosed with Bruxism, most people use their prescribed bite splint and hope for the best.
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ for short) is a bi-arthrodial hinge joint that allows the complex movements necessary for eating, swallowing, talking, and yawning. When someone says, “I have TMJ,” they may be referring to the pain associated with the joint, but TMJ is just that, a joint. You likely have TMJ pain or TMJ syndrome.
While a whole group of muscles makes up the TMJ, the masseter (the muscle we use to chew our food) is probably the most important. Not only does it harbor some of the most common trigger points in the body, but pound for pound is also the STRONGEST muscle in the body, so it’s not surprising that this muscle can take quite a beating and withstand years of tension and pressure. Tightness of the masseter (and, as a result, your entire TMJ) is also associated with vertigo, tinnitus, earaches, and even toothaches. So before you go racing off to the dentist, who might suggest pulling a tooth, do some prodding around and see if anything gets triggered or lit up when you hit the spot. If so, it’s time to come and see us.
Massage therapy has been a game changer for many people experiencing the abovementioned issues. Myofascial release (a very safe and effective, hands-on technique that involves gentle sustained pressure) and intra-oral work is commonly applied when clients visit Michigan Massage and Wellness.
We also have had a lot of success treating TMJ disorder with MPS Therapy. And often, it is not as uncomfortable as more traditional therapies. Clients report feeling a sense of immediate relief when trigger points in their jaw are treated, and it has a domino effect as not just the jaw experiences relief but often the rest of the head and neck.
A literal weight is lifted when the masseter and temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) can release pain and tension through a session. You can’t put a price on that kind of relief! We’re not saying that you will forever stop clenching your jaw, and you can burn your bite guard, but before you pop that next pain pill, consider booking a session with us.
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT