TMJ pain 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 they are diagnosed with Bruxism, most people just use their prescribed bite splint.
Your tempromandibular joint (TMJ for short) is a bi-arthroidal hinge joint that allows the complex movements necessary for eating, swallowing, talking and yawning. Now when someone says “I have TMJ” they may be referring to the pain associated in the joint, but the TMJ is just that, a joint. You likely have TMJ pain or TMJ syndrome.
While there is a whole group of muscles that make up the TMJ, the masseter (the muscle that 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 it is also the STRONGEST muscle in the body so its 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 a spot. If so, it’s time to come and see us.
Massage therapy has been a game changer for many people experiencing the aforementioned 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 times 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 affect as not just the jaw experiences relief, but often times the rest of the head and neck as well.
When the masseter and temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) are able to release pain and tension through a session, a literal weight is lifted. 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