Have you ever experienced pain in your jaw while talking, chewing, sleeping or when you wake up? Your jaw may pop, click, or not open or close fully without pain. Perhaps you have difficulty holding your mouth open at the dentist. Maybe your dentist has commented about uneven wear on your teeth, implying that you may grind your teeth. He or she may have even recommended a night guard, a specialist, or even worse - surgery!
All of these things are symptoms of TMJD - Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.
What is TMJD?
TMJD is the name for a group of symptoms that involve the temporomandibular (jaw) joints. In addition to popping, clicking, and painful movement of the joint, symptoms may also include ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, or pain or dysfunction in the neck and shoulders.
There are many causes that could be associated with this, such as an injury or blow to the jaw, misalignment of the jaw and/or teeth, an uneven bite, or the wearing of the joint's disc (which may also be causing some arthritis in the joint). Traumatic injuries to the surrounding areas including the neck and shoulders - such as whiplash - can also bring about TMJD.
Because the anatomy of those surrounding areas is so interconnected with the jaw and front of the throat, another very common contributor is STRESS (physical or mental). Many, many people in our society admittedly hold their stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. There is simply no way to keep those physical manifestations away from the jaw, from a purely anotomical perspective. Conversely, where there are TMJD symptoms, there is typically tension in the shoulders and neck, though it is often overshadowed by the discomfort felt in the jaw.
Through an advanced massage protocol, I address the pain associated with the soft tissue surrounding these areas. As tissues relax, circulation and range of motion increase. Additionally, massage calms the nervous system, allowing muscles to relax, slowing and deepening breath, and promotes the body's innate ability to heal.
I have had tremendous success with this treatment, allowing TMJD suffers to discontinue the use of night guards, and even avoid surgery! If you would like to hear more about how I can help relieve what can be a frustrating situation, please call or email for more info!
Contact me at 720-839-8264 to schedule your massage therapy session.
Millie Winder, Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist, Body Reclamation