A condition we treat on a regular basis here that can contribute to headaches, neck and upper back pain. The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the connection between the face and the mandible (Jaw). It allows movement of the jaw for speech and eating and is one of the most used joints in the body. The masseter muscle, the main biting muscle that moves the TMJ, is for its size the strongest muscle in the body and can create 150 lbs. of compressive force when we bite and chew. Clenching and grinding, often stress-induced habitual problems, which most commonly occur during the night, may cause over the development of the jaw muscles and damage of the TMJ leading to TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction).
If you suffer from TMD the most common symptoms are facial and jaw pain (sometimes misdiagnosed as tooth pain), clicking and locking of the TMJ, difficulty opening the mouth, headaches and neck pain. In addition, some people experience dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and sinus problems.
Osteopathic treatment aims to reduce the facial and muscular tension around the jaw, head and neck and improve function in the TMJ. This may have the effect of increasing jaw joint mobility and reducing pain and other complaints such as headaches.
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