Treatment of TMJ Disorders
A spate of clients have presented suffering from Tempero-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder with chronically tight necks and jaws, grinding their teeth, and associated headaches. While medicos will say it is little understood, they are over thinking it...the tendency for the effects of emotional stress to inexorably creep up and overwhelm us is the cause of the bulk of our health issues. Leg length differences, mild scoliosis, poor posture and lack of exercise accounts for much of the rest. Of course, it is a complex and unique joint and some will have sustained injury or degeneration in the joint. Lastly, there is a dental aspect to the condition where poor bite can be an issue.
The treatment I offer can take approaches or a combo of each:
• The direct physical method of donning gloves and working directly on the TMJ, associated musculature, gums, head, neck and shoulders;
• Alternatively, less direct means through Craniosacral Therapy to release fascial restrictions through cranium and spine; and,
• Combined with general principles of assessment and treatment in the Remedial Therapy framework including addressing the effects of mild scoliosis generated by a structurally short right leg.
Concepts employed consist of:
• Releasing holding patterns/blockages at the diaphragm, shoulders and hips with light
Fascial Release techniques eliciting a neural response;
• Directed meditative breathing exercise to release jaw and face;
• Postural correction through Remedial Massage assessment and treatment to optimise Head Carriage including assessment and treatment for Short Right Leg Syndrome;
• Extensive upper back, neck and shoulder massage treatment generally, and focused face and head massage;
• Chinese Cupping and/or Gua Sha as required;
• Craniosacral Therapy on offer for those wishing to explore that avenue...I have heard first hand accounts that where all else failed, Craniosacral Therapy proved successful; and,
• Don sterile gloves and work into the gum lines and muscles inside the mouth and jaw.
In relation to the effect of postural correction on the TMJ, I have treated a Short Right Leg case to resolve a chronic TMJ pain. This client little affected in any other way by SRLS due to hypermobility through the major joints of the body did have mild scoliosis with right convexity through the Thoracic. Due to pelvic tilt from the structural leg length discrepancy, this places a constant low level strain through lateral aspect of the neck and jaw. Trialling a 5mm heel lift under the right foot resolved the TMJ pain slowly and imperceptibly over a six month period.