What is TMJ? -- TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is a painful jaw condition that affects more than three million people per year (more females than males). TMJ warning signs are restricted jaw mobility, pain while chewing, ear pain, facial pain, headaches, and a grinding sensation in the bone/joints. Causes include bad habits, gum chewing, jaw misalignment, trauma/injury, poor posture, arthritis, and stress.
Are the Complications Serious?
TMJ complicated by bad habits can lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vision problems, and permanent hearing loss. In addition, TMJ can affect the inner ear resulting in dizziness and balance problems.
Treatments range from the least invasive (such as behavior modification) to more invasive (surgery). If you suspect that you may be dealing with TMJ symptoms, it is best to consult your primary physician and/or dentist. Non-invasive treatments include maintaining natural jaw posture, heat/ice packs, bite guards, anti-inflammatories, massage, stretching, and stress management. Medical and more invasive treatment includes dental splints, physical therapy, Botox injections, prescription-strength medications, and surgery.
Stress and Anxiety
Outside of traumatic injury, the most prevalent causes of TMJ are stress and anxiety. Children are particularly susceptible to pressure when faced with new situations, tests, or dealing with emotion management. Therefore, TMJ child-patients tend to be ten years old and older (more common in teenage girls), although some patients have been as young as five. Given the real impact of stress, stress management is a valuable life skill to develop since stress affects our total health. Anxiety treatments range from behavioral modification, emotion management, medication, and therapy.
Acupuncture and treatment of TMJ
When searching for a holistic regiment of treatment, it is best to consider acupuncture. Acupuncture treatment has been proven successful in managing TMJ symptoms and stopping the progression of the disease. Moreover, acupuncture releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones) and, as a result, reduces stress and pain.
In addition, a consistent treatment regimen can improve full-body health and reduce anxiety. Since stress and anxiety are the two biggest culprits in causing TMJ, the relief can be remarkable. Besides balancing the hormone levels, acupuncture improves blood circulation. When blood circulation is improved, the body can heal itself more efficiently.
By alleviating neuro-muscular tension in the facial area, an acupuncturist can treat not only the symptoms but the underlying causes of TMJ. In addition, since acupuncture promotes overall relaxation, it can be a voluble tool when dealing with stress and anxiety. Call us today to discuss treatment options so that you and your family are on your way to excellent health.
My Name is John Kim
I have been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. When I first started my acupuncture career, my primary goal as a practitioner was to help people anguishing from living with pain everyday of their lives. I have seen on numerous occasions what chronic pain can do to a person physically but also seen how it can debilitate a person’s psyche as well.
Throughout the years, I have studied, developed and incorporated a very unique treatment protocol that has successfully treated and effectively reduced pain levels on chronic pain patients. I have combined traditional methods of acupuncture along with modern, research proven techniques to help reduce chronic pain symptoms in a safe, non- chemically addictive, and effective process.
If you have any of the following:
• Headache/ Migraine
• Arthritis/ Stenosis
• Nerve pain
• Neck/Back pain
• Fibromyalgia pain
Do not hesitate and contact me!
I am here to help you to feel your very best!